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:ric M. NORT 

I • I • I • I • I • I • I • I • I • I • I < I > I • I » I 

CO. 1 




Learning and Teaching. Harold J. Sheridan and 
G. C. White. 

The Training of the Devotional Life. Minnie E. 
Kennedy and Minna M. Meyer. 

The Program of the Christian Religion. John 
W. Shackford. 

A Methodist Church and Its Work. Worth M. 
Tippy and Paul B. Kern. 

Life in the Making. Wade Crawford Barclay, 
Arlo A. Brown, Alma S. Sheridan, William J. 
Thompson, and Harold J. Sheridan. 

Edited by HENRY H. MEYER and E. B. CHAPPELL 

The Organization and 

Administration of 

the Sunday School 




Approved by the Committee on Curriculum of the Board of 

Sunday Schools of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the 

Committee on Curriculum of the General Sunday School 

Board of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South 






Copyright, 1919, by 

FEB 24 1919 



Chapter Page 

Foreword 5 

I. The Importance of the Sunday School. . 7 

II. What the Sunday School Should Do 15 

III. Okganizing the Sunday School 24 

IV. Instruction in the Sunday School 34 

V. Training in Worship 51 

VI. Training in Christian Conduct 66 

VII. The Class and the Department 79 

VIII. The Sunday School in Session 91 

IX. Supervising the Sunday School 102 

X. The Physical Equipment of the Sunday 

School 118 

XI. The Extension of the Sunday School . . 135 

XII. The Sunday School and the Church 146 


Numerous books on the organization and admin- 
istration of the Sunday school have been written in 
recent years. Most of them present a skeleton form 
of organization and an outline program of adminis- 
tration. In this book the authors have furnished 
a different kind of treatment of the subject. Instead 
of suggesting fixed forms of organization they offer 
an exposition of the principles upon which they be- 
lieve the organization and administration of the 
Sunday school should be based. In place of a formal, 
stereotyped program for all schools, they describe 
basic functions of the school and of its various parts. 
The disadvantage of readymade plans and programs 
is that often they do not fit actual situations, owing 
to the widely divergent conditions that prevail in 
different communities. A mastery of the principles 
that underlie all efficient Sunday-school organiza- 
tion and an understanding of the chief functions of 
the school should prepare a student to shape an 
organization and plan a program suited to the pecul- 
iar conditions of any situation. 

In common with the other books in the Training 
for Leadership Series this has been written pri- 
marily for young people in preparation for teaching 
and administrative leadership in the school of the 
Church. It will also be found to be adapted for 
study by groups of teachers and leaders in service. 

The Editors. 


Note the way your officers and teachers think and act 
toward the Sunday school, and what effort they make to 
acquire skill in doing their work. What would you say is 
their estimate of the Sunday school's importance? Do you 
think that estimate is correct? 

1. Education and Religion. Horace Bushnell said, 
"The soul of culture is the culture of the soul." Per- 
haps this truth has not been grasped in popular 
thinking with sufficient clearness. There can be no 
true culture that does not involve the religious life. 
Any education that does not give due place to reli- 
gion is fatally defective. 

Education has been defined as "the harmonious 
development of all the human powers." Though we 
may not regard such a conception as adequate, it 
certainly has some value. Of course, if education is 
to be viewed in this light it will be seen to include 
religious development. For one of the human 
capacities is the capacity for religion. No interest 
of the human soul is more universal than that which 
leads us to feel after God. Scientific investigation 
of individuals and of races has taught us that reli- 
gious aspiration is a fundamental tendency of human 
nature. Potentially, at least, humanity is, as 
Sabatier has said, "incurably religious." Therefore, 



if education is to concern itself with the harmonious 
development of the capacities of the human being 
it cannot ignore religion. 

If we look at education less from the viewpoint 
of the child's nature than from that of his environ- 
ment we are led to the same conclusion as to the 
importance of religious culture. We may define 
education as "adjustment to one's environment/"' but 
when we come to define "environment" it is impos- 
sible to stop short of the spiritual. There can be no 
complete adjustment to environment which does not 
include proper relations to Him in whom "we live, 
and move, and have our being." 

Again, if education be defined as "adjustment to 
the spiritual possessions of the race," as President 
Butler puts it, religion must have a dominant place. 
For when the spiritual possessions of the race are 
defined, one finds along with those that are scien- 
tific, literary, aesthetic, institutional, a religious 
heritage that outshines all the others. We are 
heirs of all the ages religiously as well as in other 
respects. If, then, the child has a right to his full 
inheritance he must not be deprived of religious 
culture. One cannot be regarded as well educated 
who has not been led into the possession of his rich 
religious inheritance. 

Some prefer to define education in terms of "effi- 
ciency." They say that the truly educated person 
is the socially efficient person. Even so it is still 
true that religion cannot be omitted from the scheme 
and leave the goal attainable. The "socially effi- 
cient" person must carry his full share of social re- 
sponsibility and do his full share of service in all 



social relationships. The man who is economically 
or politically efficient, but who is not effectively shar- 
ing in the great religious activities of the world can- 
not be said to be "socially efficient" in the largest 

No matter how we view education, it cannot be 
adequately defined without including the culture of 
religion. The person who is not developed reli- 
giously, who is not properly adjusted to his reli- 
gious environment, who has not come into the pos- 
session of his religious inheritance, who is not re- 
ligiously efficient, is not educated in the fullest sense. 

2. Religious Education in National Life. If religion 
is essential to the individual it is no less necessary 
to the nation. If the culture of the soul cannot be 
wisely omitted from the education of any one child 
it certainly ought to be provided for all the children 
of the land. This means that any sound national 
system of education must make adequate provision 
for training in religion. 

The Bible is interwoven with every phase of na- 
tional life. To be fully understood American his- 
tory must be read in the light of the Bible. So also 
with our literature. It is impossible to appreciate 
English or American literature apart from an inti- 
mate knowledge of the Scriptures. American law 
finds its highest sanctions in the principles of jus- 
tice laid down in the Word of God. American ideals 
have been inspired by the prophets and the teachings 
of Jesus Christ. More important to our national life 
than all other literature is the Bible, and a knowl- 
edge of this Book is necessary to intelligent citizen- 



But the Bible is chiefly a book of religion, and 
unless we so regard it we miss the very heart of its 
message. It is well to know Bible literature, history, 
and customs ; but these are only the outer forms that 
carry in them the real message of God to man. It 
is the religion of the Bible that our nation must 
know and feel if we are to have national character 
and stability. Only as the nation conforms to the 
will of God can it reasonably hope to abide. It is 
of supreme importance that the national system of 
education shall imbue the people with a truly reli- 
gious ideal. "Where there is no vision, the people 

3. A Challenge to the Church. But how is the 
national system of education to be made religious? 
It must be done, if done at all, through the three 
great educational agencies of the nation — the home, 
the public school, and the church. These are all 
mutually related and form integral parts of our 
national system of education. 

The most important of these three institutions is 
the home. It is divinely designed and adapted for 
the work of character building ; and where the home 
meets its opportunity and responsibility, religious 
culture receives proper attention. But unfortu- 
nately such homes are the exception rather than the 
rule. Some day the American home may become 
more efficient in this respect, but at present it is 
to be feared that the great majority even of Chris- 
tian parents in America are giving no serious atten- 
tion to the religious training of their own children. 

The public school has largely relieved parents 
of responsibility for education in general, but it 



does not and, in the nature of the case, cannot supply 
the needed religious culture. Let us hope that some 
way may be found for making the public school more 
effective in developing Christian character, but for 
the present it is debarred from dealing directly and 
adequately with the religious needs of the pupil. 
The democratic principle of the separation of church 
and state on the one hand, and the difficulties grow- 
ing out of denominationalism on the other, combine 
to exclude religious instruction and training from 
our public schools. In the present situation there 
is little reason for expecting the public school to 
make any large direct contribution to religious edu- 

The situation places upon the church a great re- 
sponsibility and opens a corresponding door of 
opportunity. If religion has an essential place in 
the training of the individual or the nation, and if 
religious training is supplied neither by the home 
nor the school, the only other agency to meet the 
need is the church. And this is not the easiest 
but the most difficult part of the educational process. 
The magnitude of the. task calls for the most earnest 
endeavor on the part of the church. If the church 
fails, the result will be fatal. Home and nation are 
both depending on the church for the spiritual leaven 
that is necessary to save us from the ruin of secular- 

4. The Place of the Sunday School. The church 
carries forward its educational work through vari- 
ous agencies. Broadly speaking, all the work of the 
church is educational. The various congregational 
meetings, the departmental organizations — such as 



the Epworth League, missionary societies, brother- 
hoods, and various clubs — all these are seeking the 
development of Christian character. But the Sun- 
day school is the only agency that undertakes seri- 
ously and systematically to promote the religious 
education of the whole membership of the church 
and the entire child life of the community. If, there- 
fore, the church must be responsible for the religious 
development of the nation, it follows that the task 
devolves mainly upon the Sunday school. 

5. The Mission of the Sunday School Considered More 
in Detail. (1) At present it is the chief agency for 
recruiting the membership of the church. Just what 
per cent of the additions to the church membership 
comes through the Sunday school may be hard ac- 
curately to determine, but eighty-five per cent is the 
figure usually given. It is also conceded that as a 
class the members of the church who are won through 
the Sunday school in childhood are more likely to 
develop strong and stable Christian character than 
adults who are reached either through revivals or 
by individual appeals. 

(2) Not only is the Sunday school an efficient re- 
cruiting agency for the church, but it is doing a 
great work in the development of Christian charac- 
ter. Indeed, this is its greatest task, and its methods 
are peculiarly adapted to the achievement of this 
end. The Sunday school is simply the church or- 
ganized for religious education. It is the church 
school of religion. It aims to fashion the rising 
generation after the likeness of Christ and to train 
even the adult church membership to do the work 
of Christ. When we recall that a large per cent of 



the members of the average church are either inac- 
tive or ineffective, or both, we are impressed anew 
with the bigness of the task of the Sunday school. 
And when we think in terms of the whole nation, 
the task becomes almost overwhelming. 

(3) The Sunday school is the field where the lay- 
men find their largest opportunity for Christian 
service. It is distinctly a laymen's movement, and 
through it many thousands of men and women are 
freely giving their time and effort to the task of 
building the kingdom of God. What the Sunday 
school has accomplished in training lay workers 
for the church no man can say; but it is certain 
that if the work of the Sunday school should sud- 
denly cease, the result would be national disaster. 

6. Sunday-School Work Calls for Skill. In view of 
the strategic importance of the Sunday school as 
one of our nation-wide educational enterprises the 
need of skilled Sunday-school workers is imperative. 
"Anything that is worth doing is worth doing well." 
This saying applies with peculiar force to the work 
of the Sunday school. In all its departments it 
demands skill of the highest order. And skill in the 
Sunday school is not achieved by mere wishing. 
Here personality is being dealt with in its highest 
phases and most complex relations. Here not coarse 
material but souls are being fashioned after a 
definite Model. If other teachers need skill for their 
work, the Sunday-school worker needs it more. 

But difficult as is the Sunday-school task, it is 
not beyond the ability of those who earnestly strive 
to accomplish it. It is only necessary to give heed 
to the advice of Paul to Timothy, "Give diligence to 



present thyself approved unto God, a workman that 
needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the 
word of truth" (2 Tim. 2. 15). 

Constructive Work 

In the light of this chapter write an estimate of your 
own Sunday school and suggest plans by which its members 
can be helped to realize the importance of its work. 


"The Graded Sunday School in Principle and Practice," 
Meyer, Part I, Chapter I. 

"The Modern Sunday School and Its Present-Day Task," 
Cope, Chapters I and II. 



What is the aim of your Sunday school? Ask your 
superintendent. Ask at least one of the teachers. Write 
the answers in your notebook. 

1. What the Sunday School Is For. Just what is 
a Sunday school for? Some officers and teachers 
would say, "To teach the Bible," or "To teach the 
children what they need to know about God and 
Jesus." Some pastors might say, "To increase the 
membership of the church." Occasionally the Sun- 
day school is treated as if its principal function were 
to raise money for church benevolences. Each of 
these statements omits some vital part of the Sun- 
day-school task. Let us go into the subject a little 

Jesus came preaching the good news of a kingdom 
in which all men could find God, their Father, and 
do his will in brotherly service to their fellows. For 
this kingdom he lived and died ; and he expects those 
who make him the Master of their lives to help in 
extending his kingdom into all the world. The 
Christian purpose is to fill society full of the ideals 
and aims of Jesus Christ. Christians are doing this 
in two ways: (1) by supporting all movements for 
correct ideals in commerce, in industry, in education, 
in public affairs; (2) by aiming at the development 



of sound and symmetrical Christian character in 
each individual. It is with the second method that 
the Sunday school is mainly concerned. The pupil 
is central. Every plan of the school must be shaped 
to encourage the growth of his spiritual life. What- 
ever does not contribute to this end must be reshaped 
or discarded. The test of the Sunday school is its 
effect upon the life of the pupil. 

How will your school meet this test? By what 
standards do you judge it? 

2. What Christian Character Is. Just what do we 
mean by Christian character? Our frequent use of 
such terms as "weak character" and "strong char- 
acter" gives us a clue to the answer. A man of 
strong character is one who decides matters for him- 
self. He is not swayed by others like a man of 
"weak character." A man of good character is he 
who chooses good actions rather than bad. Hence, 
it is in the choices one makes that character is 

It follows that obedience is not always an expres- 
sion of character. Obedience may be forced; it may 
result from fear ; it may be rendered because of other 
low motives; it may be the simple result of habit. 
And even good habits are not all there is of charac- 
ter. To act in the same way every time a given 
situation occurs is well worth while provided the 
reaction to the situation is morally sound; but a 
trained animal may do that well. Situations are 
constantly changing, so that the proper habit is often 
lacking, and a person must of necessity make vol- 
untary choice. In such situations what a person 
wishes will determine his course of conduct. Char- 



acter appears in the expression of individual pur- 
poses. This is self-expression. 

A Christian, therefore, is one who takes as his 
ideal of life the teachings of Jesus and guides his 
actions by the spirit of Christ. He constantly seeks 
to know the mind of Christ more fully and feels the 
presence of God in his daily life. He finds God in 
nature and in the world of men and draws near to 
God in private devotion and public worship. His 
greatest joy in life is the service of his fellow men. 
In a word, a Christian has "the mind . . . which 
was also in Christ Jesus." The Sunday school is a 
success when it leads its pupils to adopt Christian 
ideals of life. 

In preparing to teach or conduct the worship in 
the Sunday school how far should the formation 
of character be the conscious aim? 

3. How Character Is Formed. When we try to ac- 
count for characters with which we are familiar we 
find ourselves speaking in terms of personal in- 
fluence. "Evil associations," "a good home," "loyal 
.friends," are readily recognized as forces that help 
to form good character. Just how do these influ- 
ences operate? Every person has a tendency to 
act like those about him. Sometimes this is done 
consciously; but frequently the words or deeds of 
others influence us unconsciously by what is termed 
"suggestion." The lad learns profanity from his 
playmate without the slightest mental effort. A 
burst of laughter sets us smiling though we may be 
entirely ignorant of its cause. 

By unconscious imitation we reflect not only the 
deeds but even the very feelings of those about us. 



The attitude of parents toward their neighbors is 
accurately reflected in the feelings and deeds of the 
children. This openness to suggestion and readiness 
to imitate are particularly marked in childhood. 
Bit by bit modes of feeling, thinking, and doing are 
copied until they become a part of character. It is 
by personal influence, exerted through suggestion 
and adopted in imitation, that the will of the child 
comes to be turned definitely in one direction or 

However, about the time a child reaches the period 
of adolescence he begins to question his habits, to 
ask the reason for his acts, and so to choose for 
himself. It is then that the factor of choice comes 
in to work along with suggestion and imitation. 
Here the youth begins to choose his own ideals from 
among the various suggestions that come to him and 
to shape his conduct to fit his chosen ideals. Thus, 
adolescence is the most critical period in character 
formation. At this period emphasis should be laid 
upon the responsibility for conduct growing out of 
freedom of choice, which lies at the very founda- 
tion of all strong character. 

If we would develop Christian character in the 
young we must provide a Christian atmosphere 
wherein Christian attitudes and conduct abound. 
Only as ideals of Christian living are set before them 
in real life can children make these ideals their own. 
No amount of instruction or rewards for good be- 
havior or punishment for bad conduct can compare 
in effectiveness with the personal influence of a real 
Christian in shaping the character of a child. The 
chief schooling of the character of a child is to be 



"his participation in our work and in our fight to set 
up the kingdom of God in the world." 1 

Not only must we provide a Christian environment 
for the young, but we must also see to it that young 
persons have plenty of opportunity to act in response 
to Christian ideals. It is useless to set before the 
boy the ideal of helpfulness unless he is given some 
opportunity to be helpful. Only when the ideal is 
acted out does the child really make it his own. 
"Impression" must find "expression" if it is to be- 
come fixed in character. When the child has been 
properly trained in the preadolescent period, as he 
approaches adolescence and begins to rely upon his 
own judgment the chances are that, with the aid of 
a conscience quickened by the Divine Spirit, he will 
make right choices. 

While changes in the whole life are more marked 
at the beginning of adolescence than at any other 
period, changes are going on all the time. Character, 
good or bad, never ceases to grow. The proverb 
"As the twig is bent, the tree's inclined" is quite 
true. We cannot make the twig nor cause it to 
grow; but we can determine whether it shall make 
a straight or a crooked tree and we can retard or 
hasten its development. Character formation is 
growth, and the teacher can assist and guide the 
development of life. It is important, let it be said 
again, that the teacher know the conditions and 
needs of the growing material at the particular stage 
of development with which he proposes to deal. 
The boy of eight and the youth of twenty will re- 
spond to different stimuli, and they will also respond 

1 "Education in Religion and Morals," Coe, page 182. 



differently. The same person will make a different 
response to the same influences at different periods 
of life. Our business is to see that influences and 
opportunities for action are both so adapted to the 
enlarging capacity of the pupil that he will be con- 
stantly developing in the direction of mature Chris- 
tain character. 

4. How the Sunday School Can Assist in the Form- 
ing of Christian Character. As before indicated, the 
process of forming character is going on constantly 
in every human life. What can the Sunday school 
do to assist in the formation of Christian charac- 
ter, and how is this assistance to be rendered? In 
the light of the foregoing discussion it must do two 
things: (1) Provide friendly contact with persons 
of strong, symmetrical Christian character; and (2) 
afford opportunity for definite Christian activities. 

(1) The resources in the Sunday school for the 
first requirement are usually abundant. First of 
all, there are the officers and teachers. Pupils are 
quick to respond to the influence of the teacher who 
shows a real interest in them, is regular in his 
habits, and gives evidence of earnest preparation for 
the task of teaching. They cannot "catch" the Chris- 
tian spirit from a teacher who is destitute of it, but 
they respond readily and generously to wholesome, 
joyous, active, companionable Christian living. Char- 
acter is contagious. 

Next, the Sunday school has for lesson material 
all the great personalities of the Bible and of Chris- 
tian history. Courageous Abraham, loyal Ruth, in- 
corruptible Joseph; Amos, wrathful against social 
injustice ; Paul the hero, the Good Samaritan, and a 



hundred other illustrations from life or parable — 
these are all at hand to be made to the pupils real 
persons whom they can study and discuss and com- 
panion with. And what shall be said of Christ 
Jesus, our Lord? — he of the boundless love — of his 
joyousness, his patience, his manly vigor, his delight 
in the plain people, his self-sacrifice for all? The 
more vividly the pupils of the Sunday school see 
him, find him real as he teaches and heals and lives 
with the people of Galilee and Judea, the more 
readily and completely will they respond to his 
leadership. Through every stage of their growth 
pupils can come to know God the Father more and 
more fully as he is revealed in Jesus his Son. Bring- 
ing the pupils near to the Father is the real goal 
of religious education. 

(2) While every kind of proper activity should 
contribute to and give evidence of the pupil's growth 
in religion, there are two types that should be pres- 
ent at every stage of his progress. The first is Chris- 
tian conduct toward his fellows. Opportunities for 
this will constantly arise in the life of the home, the 
school, the playground, or the shop. Other oppor- 
tunities will come in special needs of those about 
him, in community work, in appeals for a suffering 
world, in the cause of missions. Special classes in 
the Sunday school should afford the more advanced 
pupils opportunities for training for leadership in 
the Sunday school and in the other work of the 
church. The second type of activity is the pupil's 
direct dealings with God as expressed in public and 
private prayer, in the singing of hymns, and in pub- 
lic worship. 



The two parts of the Sunday-school task are to 
guide the pupil's growth in Christian conduct and 
Christian worship. 

5. The Need of Knowledge. One more factor must 
be considered without which the influence of the 
teacher can neither be strong nor abiding. I mean 
knowledge. This the teacher must both possess and 
be able to impart. Before pupils can respond to the 
influence of Christ they must know his life and 
teaching. They cannot share intelligently in mission- 
ary interest and enterprise until they know real 
conditions in missionary lands. As their interests 
widen, their knowledge must broaden. They must 
first know the Bible as a book of stories, but later 
it must be taught to them as a great book of litera- 
ture and a repository of history. And when their at- 
tention is turned to our own nation, they should 
learn that God is a God of nations as of individuals, 
and his hand should be revealed in our own national 
and ecclesiastical history. Especially, if they are 
to be fully conscious of the presence of God in the 
world of to-day, they must be made acquainted with 
present-day religious movements and spiritual forces. 
When they come to take up responsibilities as mem- 
bers of the community they should understand the 
relations of Christianity to social, political, and in- 
dustrial life. Moreover, they will find their place 
for permanent religious work in the church of their 
affiliation and will need training in the plans and 
methods of the denomination with which they are 
identified. The Sunday school must make generous 
provision for the acquisition of all these kinds of 


6. The Threefold Function of the Sunday School. 
The task of the Sunday school has three aspects: 
It must guide the growth of the pupil in religious 
knowledge, it must train the pupil in Christian wor- 
ship, and it must guide the pupil into the fields of 
Christian service and see that he knows how to serve 
well. No one of these functions can be definitely 
separated from the others in the organization and 
work of the Sunday school. Consciously or uncon- 
sciously, every teacher has to do with all three. To 
achieve the highest possible kind of success a Sunday 
school must have a well-developed program for all 
three functions. 

Constructive Work 

1. Reread sections one to three of this chapter, testing 
them in the light of your own experience. Do you find 
their statements illustrated in your Sunday-school class? 
Write in your notebook the illustrations that occur to you. 

2. Make a list of any new ideas that sections four and five 
have brought to you. How would they alter your work in 
the school? Write the answers in your notebook. 

Think over the work of your Sunday school and list under 
the headings "Guiding Growth and Knowledge," "Training 
in Worship," and "Training in Conduct" all the different 
things that are done. What items come under none of 
these heads? Which division shows the most adequate 
program? Which is weakest? How do these actual con- 
ditions affect the development of the pupils? Write the 
answers in your notebook. 


"What Is Education?" Welton. 

"Education in Religion and Morals," Coe, Chapter VIII. 
"The Pupil," Barclay, Chapters I to III. 
"The Teacher," Barclay, Chapters II and III. 



Asceetain the enrollment of your school, including the 
ages of the members of each class. Does each class 
represent a distinct age group? What departments are 
recognized in the school? Upon what basis are the pupils 
grouped into classes? 

1. Organization Determined by Membership. The 
organization of the Sunday school should be fash- 
ioned according to the material in hand. It is 
not a cut-and-dried scheme of departments; it is 
rather an arrangement of the pupils according to 
their own needs; such an arrangement as will best 
promote the purpose in mind — the development of 
Christian character. 

At the present time the Sunday school includes 
within its active membership various groups of chil- 
dren, young people, and adults. Ordinarily it min- 
isters also to many who are not able to attend the 
regular weekly session of the school — babies, 
mothers, the sick and infirm, etc. Indeed, it has 
come to be recognized that the membership of the 
school ideally is one with the constituency of the 

If, then, the organization of the school is to meet 
the needs of the entire membership, actual and pos- 
sible, it must be adapted to the several groups, 
whether young or old, who attend the regular ses- 
sion, and also to those who for any reason are kept 
away. This requires not only the correct arrange- 



merit of those in the school proper, but also the 
adoption of plans for extending the benefits of the 
school to the larger constituency. Only the former 
is considered in this chapter ; the latter is discussed 
in Chapter XI, "The Extension of the Sunday 

2. The Necessity for Grading. Practical conditions 
make it necessary for the pupils of a school to be 
grouped. There are not teachers sufficient for each 
pupil to have a teacher to himself, even if this were 
desirable. But this is not desirable. Education is 
not simply a process of individual development but 
of social adjustment. There is therefore educational 
value in the grouping of pupils. It is demanded 
both by practical conditions and educational theory. 

But the grouping of pupils should not be a mere 
haphazard putting of them together. The arrange- 
ment should be in keeping with the law of life's 
needs. There are two fundamental principles that 
must be borne in mind. In the first place, emphasis 
must be given to the fact that the pupil is the de- 
termining factor in the whole work of education. 
The materials, the method, the organization, must 
be fitted to the pupil. We can no longer think of 
making the child to conform to arbitrary standards, 
as has too often been done. Standards must be made 
to fit his needs. Those things must be given him 
for his spiritual development which he can assimi- 
late, and they must be given in such a way to make 
assimilation possible. In the second place, the 
pupil is a developing being, with different needs at 
the various stages of his growth; and the Sunday 
school is composed of pupils at many stages of 



development. The Sunday school must be graded be- 
cause God has graded human life. 

Earlier books in this series have discussed at 
length the several periods of development. It is 
necessary here only to recall a few important facts. 
Not only are there differences between maturity 
and infancy, childhood and adolescence. In the last 
two periods the observant worker will note variations 
that necessitate further division into early childhood, 
middle childhood, later childhood ; early adolescence, 
middle adolescence, and later adolescence. Each of 
these periods covers several years of growth; each 
year is marked by certain possibilities and needs dif- 
fering from those of other years. The characteristics 
of each separate year are not of course so marked 
as are those of the several larger periods; even the 
line of separation between the several periods can- 
not be absolutely and sharply fixed at a given time ; 
there is gradual progress from one year to another 
and from one period to another. Yet the general 
characteristics of each period are fairly well defined. 

3. The Sunday-School Grading. In keeping with the 
natural stages of human development the modern 
Sunday school, apart from its extension work, is 
organized into the following departments: Begin- 
ners', Primary, Junior, Intermediate, Senior, Young 
People's, and Adult. The members of each of these 
departmental units have many things in common. 
There are certain aptitudes, therefore, that belong 
to the department as a unit. Especially is the group- 
ing by departments adapted to the cultivation of 
worship and various forms of expressional activities. 
It lends itself splendidly to organized effort of many 



kinds and to the development of leadership. There 
are also certain types of instruction that may be 
given most effectively to the department as a whole. 

But departmental grouping is not sufficient to 
meet the full need of the developing person. Each 
year of growth marks a distinct advance, and this 
advance is marked and promoted by the grades of 
the public school. It is necessary, therefore, for the 
Sunday school to group its pupils not only in de- 
partments but within the several departments by 
grades corresponding in general to the several years 
included. This more minute grading is important 
not only for the sake of effective instruction but 
also for the more intimate and effective cultivation 
of worship and formation of right habits. 

The organization of the modern Sunday school by 
departments and grades is shown by the following 
scheme of grading : 



Approximate Age 



,1 " 


one, two, three 



four, five, six 

9, 10, 11 


seven, eight, nine 

12, 13, 14 


ten, eleven, twelve, 

15, 16, 17 

Young People's 


Adult 25 plus 

This grouping of the several grades was adopted 
by the Sunday-School Council of Evangelical De- 
nominations at its meeting in January, 1917, with 
the proviso that the twelve-year grade should be 
counted as optional as between the Junior and Inter- 
mediate Departments. The relative efficiency of the 
Junior and Intermediate Departments must be con- 



sidered in the placing of twelve-year-old pupils. 1 
In the judgment of the council — and this represents 
the best thought of to-day on the Sunday school — 
it is to be understood that these groups shall be 
considered flexible, thus permitting the adjustment 
of the departmental organization to local needs. The 
grouping of any particular pupils is not to be de- 
termined primarily by age, but due attention is to 
be given to social relations and to mental and reli- 
gious development. 

Is your school organized in keeping with this 
scheme of grading? 

4. Grading the Local School. In classifying the stu- 
dents of the local school several practical problems 
must be considered. At the very outset the question 
will arise whether the suggested scheme of grading 
is to be rigidly adhered to or modified in keeping 
with local conditions. The answer already suggested 
is that the scheme proposed has only general value 
and must be used with considerable flexibility. The 
organization is for the pupils, not the pupils for the 
organization. The size of the school, the school 
facilities, the social interests of a group, special 
activities in which the group is engaged, the influ- 
ence of certain individuals upon others, and similar 
considerations call for the application of intelligent 
judgment in making local adjustments. 

The size of the school or the arrangement of the 
building, for example, may make it impracticable to 
have the seven separate departments. It will then 
be necessary to combine two or more departments. 

1 Minutes of the Sunday-School Council of Evangelical Denominations, 
January, 1917, page 44. 



But which departments should be combined? The 
answer to this question is usually determined by 
the number of pupils in or available for the several 
departments, and other local conditions. Other 
things being equal, it will perhaps be best to com- 
bine the Intermediate and Senior Departments into 
one. If further combinations are necessary, the 
young people and adults can be combined. Beyond 
this a good principle to follow is to give the benefit 
of separate departmental grouping to the lower 

How many grades and classes should there be 
within each department? This will depend largely 
on the size of the school but also upon the number 
of good teachers to be had and the character of the 
available facilities. As already indicated, if the 
school is large enough to justify it, and teachers and 
facilities can be provided, there should be one grade 
for every year included in the department, and one 
or more classes for each year according to the num- 
ber of students enrolled. Under ordinary conditions 
the size of the classes below the Senior Department 
should be from seven to ten; in the Senior Depart- 
ment fifteen is perhaps not too many; while in the 
Adult and Young People's Departments the size 
of the class will be determined by the character of 
the course of study, the social interests, the group 
tendencies, and the like. 

Should sexes be grouped in separate classes? No 
categorical answer can be given. At present there 
are considerable differences of opinion and of prac- 
tice. The public school assigns boys and girls to 
the same classes not only in the lower grades but 



even in the adolescent period. It is to be remem- 
bered, however, that the conditions in the Sunday 
school in many respects are quite different from 
those in the public school. When practicable to 
do so the separation of sexes is to be advised in 
classes of the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior De- 
partments. Even in the Young People's and Adult 
Departments it will often be found conducive to best 
work to have separate classes for men and women. 
But more important than the separation of the sexes 
is the grading in keeping with the age and inter- 
ests of the pupils. If, therefore, either principle is 
to be followed to the exclusion of the other, it is 
better to group according to age and interest even 
though boys and girls are placed in the same class. 

How much care is exercised in classifying the 
students in your school? 

5. Progress and Promotion. The graded Sunday 
school is composed largely of growing children. The 
proper organization of the school, therefore, involves 
more than mere assignment of the pupils to their 
appropriate departments and grades, however cor- 
rectly this may be done. Suitable provision must 
be made for and due attention given to promotions. 
This is important ; for unless this is done, the school 
will soon cease to be graded, and the needs of the 
pupils will not be met. It should be emphasized also 
that proper attention to promotion will go far to- 
ward cultivating in the Sunday school and church 
a sense of progress in Christian thought and life 
— a consummation devoutly to be wished. 

What should be the basis of promotion? In the 
public schools pupils are promoted on the satisfac- 



tory completion of the courses assigned, and this 
is determined largely, though not solely, by examina- 
tion. Properly conducted examinations or tests may 
be used in the Sunday school for their educational 
value, but promotions must be made mainly on more 
general grounds. The business of the school is the 
development of Christian character. Therefore, 
faithfulness in doing the work assigned, the ability 
to profit by the work of the next grade, maturity of 
character, furnish a better basis for promotion than 
a mere knowledge test. 

Care must be taken not to cheapen Sunday-school 
work by bestowing honors unduly. But the ap- 
propriate observance of Promotion Day and the 
giving of proper recognition should prove of real 
educational value. For the completion of a grade 
a promotion card is sufficient ; for the completion of 
a department, a simple certificate ; and for the com- 
pletion of the course, a diploma of graduation. Much 
should be made of graduation as the goal to which 
every pupil should aspire. But graduation must not 
be thought of as a separation from the Sunday school 
and its work, but as a promotion into advanced stud- 
ies and adult responsibilities. 

In the ungraded Sunday school it has been cus- 
tomary for teachers to continue with the same class 
for years. In the public schools the pupils are 
promoted, while the teacher remains in the same 
grade. The latter plan is much to be preferred, as 
it makes it possible for the teacher to become more 
skillful in his work in that he has an opportunity 
for repeated and prolonged study of the same prob- 
lems. In view, however, of the large part the per- 



sonal influence of the teacher plays in Sunday-school 
work, it may be worth while in many instances to 
allow the teacher and the class to remain together 
within the limits of the department. This plan 
would also give each teacher in a given department 
an opportunity to become thoroughly acquainted 
with the several grades and courses and encourage 
unity and consistency in the work of the department. 

Are pupils in your school promoted with proper 

6. The Young People's and Adult Departments. The 
last several sections have been dealing with boys 
and girls who have not completed the graded course. 
When we pass to the higher departments, there 
are no grades, properly speaking; the pupils are 
grouped according to individual interests and prac- 
tical convenience. The grouping may be according 
to sex or according to age or according to both sex 
and age ; it may be according to the character of the 
course desired — into classes for Bible study, for 
teacher training, for training parents, for training 
in various forms of Christian service; or according 
to the method of teaching — into lecture classes, study 
classes, classes for investigation, and the like. Local 
conditions must largely determine the grouping in 
both the Young People's and the Adult Depart- 

While these two departments are alike in the 
general principle of grouping their pupils, they differ 
greatly from each other in their general interests. 
The one includes the young men and women from 
eighteen to twenty-four and must meet the needs of 
young life. The other department must care for the 



interests of maturer men and women. The upper 
age limit of the Young People's Department is not 
therefore to be understood to prevent the promotion 
into the Adult Department of those young people 
who before passing twenty -four shall have established 
homes of their own or otherwise have taken up the 
responsibilities of adult life. 2 

The emphasis upon the grades and the graded 
work must not lead to any neglect of these more 
advanced departments. The work of these must not 
be thought of simply as a pleasing pastime nor en- 
gaged in merely for the purpose of encouraging a 
good cause or setting a good example to the chil- 
dren. The pupils of the lower grades may well be 
inspired to look forward with eagerness to the time 
of graduation, but it must not be thought of as a 
graduation from the school, but rather as the passing 
over into higher forms of work. The Young Peo- 
ple's and Adult Departments should stimulate and 
provide for continuous growth in Christian charac- 
ter and increasing efficiency in Christian service. 

Constructive Work 

Write in your notebook some of the changes that you 
would suggest in your school in order to make it conform 
to the ideals of this chapter. 


"Organization and Administration of the Sunday School," 
Athearn, Chapter IV. 

"The Graded Sunday School in Principle and Practice," 
Meyer, Chapters XVI, XVIII. 

2 Minutes of the Sunday-School Council of Evangelical Denominations, 
January, 1917, page 45. 


Find out what system of lessons your school is using and 
ascertain from certain officers and teachers why it was 

Review Chapter II, noting especially how growth in 
knowledge and growth in activity depend on each other. 

1. The Place of Instruction in the Sunday School. 
Now that we have seen how the pupils should be 
grouped and classified in order to make their reli- 
gious education effective we must find out just what 
we are to do with them. In Chapter II we saw the 
threefold task of the Sunday school to be guiding 
growth in Christian knowledge, training in worship, 
and guiding growth in Christian activity. In these 
next three chapters we shall consider what each of 
these involves. 

Instruction is the name of the process by which 
growth in knowledge is guided. It includes two 
factors: (1) selecting the new ideas — new knowledge 
and new ideals — which we desire the pupil to have ; 
(2) deciding upon the process by which we help him 
to acquire these ideas. More briefly, it involves the 
material and the method of instruction. Each de- 
pends on the other, and both depend on the nature 
of the pupil and the process by which he takes hold 
of new ideas. 

The whole group of ideas that we want the pupil 


to secure, when they have all been worked out in 
the order in which the pupil can best acquire them, 
forms what is called the curriculum. 

2. The Curriculum of the Sunday School. So many 
lesson systems for Sunday schools are now available 
that few schools need to undertake the making of 
their own curriculums. But to choose wisely among 
them and to use intelligently the one chosen every 
teacher and officer should understand the principles 
governing the making of a curriculum. Not to do 
so would be like taking a train without inquiring 
where it was going. The principles are three : 

1. The material should be so selected and arranged as to 
provide for the steady progress of the pupil in character 
toward his full development as a mature Christian. This 
will be partly secured by following the second principle. 

2. The material should be suited to the pupil at each 
period of his development. 

3. The curriculum should contain in its complete form 
all the materials that are necessary for instruction. In 
short, it should be progressive, graded, and comprehensive. 

Everywhere in some degree teachers and superin- 
tendents and lesson makers have recognized the need 
of fitting the instruction to the pupil. Even when 
the material of the lessons has not been graded, the 
lesson helps and the teaching method have been 
adapted to the pupils to some extent. As is now 
generally admitted, the best results can be obtained 
only when all three are carefully adapted to the 
pupil. This involves five requirements: 

1. The material must meet the pupil's present moral and 
religious needs. By helping him solve in a Christian way 
the problems of conduct that he is actually facing it defi- 
nitely insures his growth in Christian character. 



2. It must be really interesting to him. This does not 
mean that it may not be hard to master it. In fact, if the 
pupil has to work for it, he will value it more and retain 
it better. But he must find it worth having for reasons that 
are real to him and not artificial. 

3. It must be based on what he already knows. Every 
mind has to "proceed from the known to the unknown." 

4. It must be in contact with his environment and experi- 
ence outside the Sunday school. New knowledge gained in 
day school should be woven into that gained in Sunday 
school. Both will then contribute more to his growth. 

5. It should require only such methods of teaching as are 
suited to his age and capacity. 

The more completely these requirements are met, 
the more effective will the curriculum be. 1 

Given these principles, where are we to look for 
the material itself? By far the greater part of the 
material for the lessons themselves will properly be 
drawn from the Bible. As it has been for genera- 
tions the great source of Christian inspiration and 
instruction, so it continues to be. No other book 
compares with it in its educational value to chil- 
dren, to men, and to nations. Knowing, however, 
that our pupils must realize that the Spirit of God 
has been at work in the world since the Bible was 
written as well as before, we shall desire to include 
in the curriculum at the right places stories of such 
Christian leaders as Luther and Wesley, of such 
missionary heroes as Carey and Livingstone and 
Mackay, and some account of the history of the 
Christian church. We shall also wish our young 
people, as they go out into the world, to have an 

i Chapters IV, VII, X, XIII, XVI, XIX, and XXII in "Life in the Making" 
give excellent illustrations of the application of these principles to the selec- 
tion of lesson materials for each age group in the Sunday school. 



understanding of the relation of Christianity to 
modern social conditions. Then they may wisely 
do their part in building the kingdom of God in our 
nation and the world. For this reason we should 
include a study of the opportunities of Christian 
leadership in the life of to-day. 

Such material the most generally accepted lesson 
systems now include. A complete statement of the 
material for instruction should, however, add a num- 
ber of other items which are an important part of 
the curriculum. A study of the kinds of books there 
are in the Bible and of how the Bible came to be 
should be made at the right time. As the pupil 
progresses through the school, certain great hymns 
should become a part of his knowledge at each stage. 
He will need to study the Lord's Prayer, some of 
the Psalms, and other parts of the service of wor- 
ship. The use of maps, of indexes, of Bible dic- 
tionaries and other reference books, the study of 
the great religious pictures of the world and of great 
religious music, all belong in the curriculum. Every 
school should thus add to the outline of its lesson 
system a statement of the additional material that 
is to be studied each year and should see to it that 
the material is provided and used. 1 Finally a series 
of elective courses of study for the adult classes 
should be mapped out. Additional courses for 
normal classes, for the training of teachers, and for 
a parents' class should also be part of the program 
of instruction in every school. 

Has your school a statement of its curriculum 

1 A condensed outline of such a statement for one year of the Junior Depart- 
ment, based on the International Graded Lessons, is given on pages 38, 39. 



Based on the International Graded Lessons 

Characteristics of Period 
Unlimited energy and desire to 

Interest in making things. 

Interest in stories of action. 
Marked mental activity: 

Interest in new words. 

Interest in puzzles. 

Ability to memorize. 

Interest in accuracy. 
Insistence on reality — "not 

fairy stories, true stories." 
Hero worship. 
Individual assertiveness and 

personal rivalry, but the 

beginnings of team play. 
Sensitiveness to public opinion. 
Growing appreciation of rules 

and authority. 
Ability to read. 
Tendency to make collections. 

Religious Needs 

Increasing recognition of the 
kingship of God as revealed 
by Christ and obedience to 

Activity governed by right 
moral choices. 

Appreciation of truth. 

Ideals of service and usefulness. 

Increased knowledge of reli- 
gious facts. 




Lesson Material 
I. Stories of Everyday Heroes, 
involving action, moral 
courage, service of fel- 
low men — as Neesima, 
Mackay, Reed, Clara 
Barton, Riis. Six les- 
II. Stories of Jesus — the Hero 
of Heroes, a series of 
stories of Jesus' life in 
chronological order but 
with emphasis on the in- 
dividual story, inspiring 
the children to love him 
and choose him as their 
hero. Significance of 
reverence, praise, joy, 
service, forgiveness, re- 
pentance, trust, loyalty, 
brought out in discus- 
sion of concrete actions. 
Twenty lessons. 

III. Stories of Heroic Followers 

of Jesus, involving obe- 
dience to God, love of 
church, heroism in self- 
sacrifice, patience, mis- 
sionary z e a 1 — P e t e r, 
John, Stephen, Philip, 
Paul, Carey, Morrison 
(making the Chinese Bi- 
ble), Judson, Lee and 
Whitman (Indian Bi- 
ble), Evans (making of 
Cree Alphabet), Living- 
stone (who kept his 
word), Paton. Twenty 

IV. Stories of Old-Testament 

Heroes, embodying 
faithfulness, obedience, 
patriotism, strength of 
will, readiness to do 
right — Joshua, Deborah, 
Gideon, Samson. Six 

Supplementary Teaching 

Lesson Material 

and Methods 

Missionary geography con- 
nected with the lessons. 

Memorizing a Bible verse for 
each lesson. 

Mastery of location of books 
of Bible and the divisions to 
which they belong. 

Mastery of references for Lord's 
Prayer, Golden Rule, Ten 
Commandments, Two Great 
Commandments, Love Chap- 
ter, Faith Chapter, Shepherd 
Psalm, Traveler's Psalm, 
Christmas Story, Visit of 
Wise Men, "God so loved 
the world," Two Founda- 

Map making: Bible geography; 
location of important places. 

Brief prayers to memorize. 

Making an illustrated work 
book as a personal posses- 
sion, containing pictures, 
stories, and question-and-an- 
swer work. 

Collecting illustrations of Bi- 
ble scenes. 

Puzzles, with answers, in Bible 
geography, Scripture texts, 
"Who said it?" 

Mastery of hymns: "There's a 
Song in the Air"; "It Came 
upon the Midnight Clear"; 
"There Is a Green Hill"; 
"Jesus Christ Is Risen To- 
Day"; "Break Thou the 
Bread of Life"; "From 
Greenlan d's Icy Moun- 
tains"; "The Son of God 
Goes Forth to War" ; "True- 
Hearted, Whole-Hearted ' ' ; 
"Sound the Battle Cry"; 
"He is God's Hero"; etc. 


completely worked out and understood by the 
teachers? Would such a common understanding of 
the work of the school promote success in your Sun- 
day school ? 

3. Choosing a Lesson System. From what has been 
said it is clear that a school in choosing a lesson 
system will be wise if it prefers a graded system to 
the "uniform" system that has been in use so many 
years. The latter claimed as advantages the facts 
that under it the whole school and a large part of the 
Sunday-school world were studying the same pas- 
sages of Scripture, that a teacher who had studied 
the lesson was prepared to take any class in the 
school, that the teachers could be coached on the 
next Sunday's lesson in a group, that a central 
thought was provided upon which the superintend- 
ent could focus the "closing exercises" of the school. 
The first of these is no longer true; the second 
never was true; the third is of doubtful value, since 
it encouraged the study of the material only and 
not also of the specific pupils it was to reach; the 
fourth can be provided without the uniform system. 
In so far as these were advantages they were more 
than offset by certain disadvantages. It was often 
necessary to stretch the real meaning of the text in 
an endeavor to make it apply to the pupils of a given 
grade. The systematic knowledge of the Bible which 
the uniform lessons were supposed to provide actu- 
ally did not result. Many adult classes lost interest 
in the piecemeal study of disconnected fragments 
of Scripture. As a matter of fact these difficulties 
have been so clearly recognized that the makers of 
the International Uniform System have modified the 



lessons for 1918 and thereafter by providing special 
additional Biblical material suited to the different 
age groups. 

In addition to meeting the fundamental require- 
ments of adaptation to pupils' needs and interests 
a good lesson system should provide whatever in- 
formation and directions are necessary to guide the 
teacher in using the system and in teaching the 
individual lesson. Illustrations and material for 
handwork should be carefully selected and con- 
veniently arranged. The appearance of the printed 
matter should make its use a pleasure and set stand- 
ards of good taste. These points should be con- 
sidered in choosing a lesson system. 

4. Why a Well-Chosen System Is Sometimes a Fail- 
ure. Occasionally one hears of Sunday schools that 
have tried a graded-lesson system — even some that 
have been using it for some time — but have given it 
up and returned to the uniform system. Why, if the 
graded system is better adapted to the pupils, have 
these schools given it up? 

Probably most of the schools that try it for a 
short time and then give it up do so either because 
they have tried to introduce it too hastily or be- 
cause — sad though it seems — some of the officers and 
teachers are not willing to take the trouble to make 
it a success. The complaint is made that the graded 
system means harder work for the teacher. It may 
be so at first simply because it is new. As a matter 
of fact it is no harder to do good work under the 
graded system than under the uniform system, but 
poor work shows more because the general average 
is higher. Moreover, under the graded system, in 



which the teacher teaches the same series of lessons 
for a succession of years, he will each year become 
more expert in his knowledge of the material and 
in meeting the needs of that particular grade of 

Some schools fail to obtain success with graded 
lessons because they are not careful enough about 
keeping the school graded. New pupils coming in 
are not placed in classes where they really belong, 
and soon the whole school is in confusion. The 
teachers are then handicapped by having to teach 
the graded lessons to pupils whom they do not fit. 
Persistent vigilance on the part of a responsible 
officer is necessary to maintain the proper standard. 
Sometimes new teachers or new officers come into 
the school and, not thoroughly understanding the 
method and value of the graded lessons, are mis- 
led by the false simplicity of the uniform lessons 
and turn the school away from the line of progress 
that it had been following. A determination steadily 
to improve the work of the school will keep it faith- 
ful to the graded lessons, for they make teachers 
who are in earnest more skillful than they were be- 
fore, and — most important of all — give to the pupil 
a better knowledge of the Bible and its meaning and 
develop a thorough loyalty to Christ. 

Small schools often feel that they cannot use the 
graded system because it seems to demand more 
classes than they have teachers, and because sub- 
dividing closely by grades would make classes very 
small. This can be easily adjusted by combining 
two or more grades in one class, teaching the lessons 
in a cycle, and promoting each year to the next grade 



the pupils of the highest grade in the class, receiving 
each year the pupils from the grade below. A 
schedule showing how this may be done can be 
obtained from the publishers of graded lessons. 

In any use of the graded lessons "well begun is 
half done." Introducing a graded-lesson system con- 
sists in something more than handing the teachers 
the new books a month beforehand, as if the material 
were to be used in the same way as the previous 
system. Every publisher of a graded system issues 
careful explanations of the best way to introduce the 
system and discussions of the work of each grade. 
These should be procured and studied. The teacher's 
and pupil's textbooks should both be in the hands 
of the teachers, who should familiarize themselves 
with the material for the grade they are to teach, 
with the aim and general content of the material 
just preceding and following theirs, and with the 
purpose and outline of the system as a whole. This 
may well take six months or a year, during which 
frequent conferences of the teachers by departments 
and occasional meetings of the whole staff will be 
helpful. No actual teaching should be done until 
every teacher understands the method. Meanwhile 
the school should be very carefully graded. Then 
the teaching of the graded lessons may be begun, 
starting with the lowest grades in the first three or 
four departments. The next year two grades in 
each department will be using the material. By 
the end of four years the entire school will be ad- 
justed to the new system. Or the start may be made 
in any class or classes in which the teacher is 
thoroughly prepared and the pupils carefully graded, 



provided that as each of such classes advances it 
continues to use the graded-lesson material. 
Patience, thoughtfulness, faith, and work will in- 
sure real success. 

Who selects the lesson system in your Sunday 
school? Is the general plan understood by all the 

5. Methods of Teaching. The second factor in in- 
struction is the process by which the pupil is helped 
to acquire new ideas — the method of instruction. 
This is fully treated in another book in this series, 
"Learning and Teaching." All that can be done 
here is to bring to mind certain important facts. 

First of all, the process of teaching must cor- 
respond to the process by which the mind naturally 
takes hold of new ideas. "You can lead a boy to 
knowledge, but you cannot make him think." A 
natural interest in the material containing the new 
idea must be stimulated. The material must then 
be unfolded until the pupil sees clearly the central 
point for himself; it must then be tied to what he 
already knows by comparison and contrast; and 
finally, he must be given opportunity to make use 
of the new idea by putting it into action. No matter 
in what grade the teaching is being done or what 
the method used — whether story-telling, recitation, 
discussion, or lecture — these steps must appear in 
the process. 

Do the pupils enjoy the work of the Sunday-school 
classes you know? How far can you trace this to 
the effectiveness of the method of teaching used? 

Every method requires the use of means for mak- 
ing the lesson vivid. The imagination can be relied 



upon to give reality when the new idea is in a set- 
ting which is familiar. But where the scene or ob- 
ject is unfamiliar it must be made real by picture 
or model, that the story itself may be real. It is by 
such means that new ideas are attached to and 
modify the old and thus become the pupil's own 
possession. These means should be graded accord- 
ing to the pupil's interests and capacities. God's 
care for the birds can be made vivid to a little child 
through watching and feeding a bird, or cutting 
and pasting a picture of a bird on colored paper, or 
fluttering about the room to some appropriate kinder- 
garten song. The method of simple dramatization 
can be carried further with children a little older 
in treating the simpler Bible stories, such as those 
of Joseph and Ruth, and the missionary biographies. 
The drawing or coloring of maps, the making of 
models in clay or pulp, the depicting of Bible scenes 
on the sand table, all have their proper and impor- 
tant place in the work of the Sunday school. Pic- 
tures, whether as photographs, stereographs, repro- 
ductions of famous paintings, or lantern slides, 
should be used freely through the entire school. The 
making of an illustrated notebook by a pupil or a 
whole class often serves to unite in a form easily 
reviewed the impressions of a series of lessons. As 
a matter of fact, material is never so vivid as when 
we are studying it to use for something in which 
we are interested. 

This means that we must select our material with 
activity in view and our activity with the material 
in view. Thus, a study of Jesus' care for the hungry 
may be connected with aid for a famine-stricken 



district. Interest in missionary giving may lead 
to a study in missionary biography. A new subject 
may be studied in preparation for a debate, an 
essay, or a pageant. The wise teacher will be con- 
stantly on the alert for such combinations. Against 
certain dangers, however, we must be on our guard. 
The illustrations must really illustrate and give no 
false conceptions. They must be to the pupils illus- 
trations only. Otherwise the attention of the pupil 
may be given to the illustration, with a resulting 
loss of interest in the real subject of the lesson. 
Good as models are and important as handwork is, 
neither should be allowed to crowd out in any de- 
gree the guidance of the growing Christian experi- 
ence of the pupil with his fellows and with God. 

Is your school making wise use of its illustrative 
material? Has it a sufficient quantity? 

6. The Training of the Teacher, (a) The supply 
of teachers. — Most Sunday schools are troubled by 
a lack of suitable teachers. This is sometimes due 
to the fact that the work of teaching is looked down 
upon by members of the church who have a capacity 
for it. Often the church promotes this attitude by 
a failure to treat the Sunday school seriously or to 
honor publicly those who are giving themselves to 
the work. The prevalence of the false idea that 
"anybody can teach in Sunday school" has also set 
up a debasing standard. Thus, the first step in 
securing an adequate staff of qualified teachers is 
to dignify the teacher's task in the eyes of the 
church. Two other methods of providing teachers 
must be used : the training of a selected group of the 
older pupils of the school in what may be called 



the "young people's training class" and the further 
training of those already teaching in a teacher-train- 
ing class. 

(6) The work of a young people's training class, 
— Such a class consists of a group of students from 
the Senior and Young People's Departments who 
have answered the call to service in the Sunday 
school and are ready to prepare for it. The class 
meets at the regular time of the school and, in place 
of the usual curriculum, studies a special curriculum 
providing two or three years' training in prepara- 
tion for teaching. This curriculum will involve four 
fundamental subjects which the teacher needs to 
know: (1) the pupil, his nature and development 
at different ages, and the way his mind takes hold 
of new ideas; (2) the materials of the curriculum; 
for example, the Bible, Christian history and bi- 
ography, the geography of Palestine; (3) principles 
and methods of teaching; (4) the organization and 
program of the Sunday school. In addition to this 
necessary knowledge there must be opportunity to 
observe actual teaching and to practice teaching 
under suitable directions. The course of which this 
book is a part provides especially for just such a 

(c) The work of a teacher-training class. — The 
teacher-training class is composed of those already 
engaged in teaching and meets outside of the Sun- 
day-school hour for special training from three to 
six months of the year. Its work consists in a 
series of courses designed to furnish elementary 
training for those who have not had it, and advanced 
or "specialized" training for those who are ready 



for it. This is the more necessary because in so 
many schools teachers have no special training, and 
because their work can so easily be improved by it. 
Even those of experience find it freshening to take 
up the systematic study of the teaching process. The 
fundamental subjects are, again, child study, princi- 
ples and methods of teaching, the materials of the 
curriculum, and the program of the school. Several 
such courses have been published by the denomina- 
tional agencies. Here, as in the young people's class, 
emphasis should be put on practical observation and 
experimentation in teaching with criticism of the 
results. The requirements for making a teacher can- 
not be met simply by passing an examination in the 
contents of a book. 

How is your school meeting the problem of sup- 
plying trained teachers? 

7. How the School Can Help the Teachers. There 
are many ways in which the school can help teachers 
to be effective in their work, and every teacher has 
a right to expect such help from the school. First 
of all, proper conditions for class work, freedom from 
disturbance, and sufficient supplies of the right kind 
must be provided. Of special importance is the 
teachers' library, which should contain the best books 
on the different aspects of Sunday-school work and 
which should be constantly enlarged. The books 
may be circulated among the teachers or, better, 
kept in a well-lighted room open two or three eve- 
nings a week. The teachers can thus consult works 
of reference, such as Bible dictionaries and maps, 
which should not be circulated. The library should 
be under the supervision of the librarian, who 



should be always on the lookout for valuable addi- 
tions to it and ready to suggest helpful readings on 
special subjects. Secondly, in addition to the special 
courses offered by the teacher-training classes, the 
teacher should be encouraged and aided to attend 
the special meetings and institutes of the Sunday- 
school boards and of county and State Sunday- 
school associations and other religious-educational 
organizations. From them many helpful suggestions 
in method may be gotten, and also a sense of the 
large and goodly fellowship at work on the same 
great task. Finally, the school will insure for the 
teacher generous appreciation and wise supervision. 
Even justified criticism sarcastically given is worse 
than useless — it is unchristian. The successes of the 
teacher should be recognized openly, and the failures 
discussed helpfully in private. Every teacher will 
welcome and profit by supervision that is patient, 
kindly, and expert. 

Would you say that your Sunday school is helping 
its teachers do their work? How? In what ways 
could it be more helpful ? 

Constructive Work 

Take the outline of the lesson system used by your Sun- 
day school and test it by the fourth and fifth principles of 
adaptation given in section two. 

Read the story of Joseph sold by his brethren (Genesis 
37). What words and ideas in it need to be explained to a 
class of twelve-year-old boys living in an American city? 
What means would you use to make the story vivid? 

What methods of teaching are in use in the different 
departments of your school? Who is responsible for seeing 
that the teaching is well done? As a teacher in training 



what do you think you particularly need in order to im- 
prove your work? What ways are there in your school or 
your community for you to get it? 


"Learning and Teaching," Sheridan and White. 

"The Graded Sunday School in Principle and Practice," 
Meyer, Part I, Chapters V, VIII. 

"The Sunday School at Work," Faris (editor), Part V, 
Part IX. 

"The Church School," Athearn, Chapters IV to X, sections 
on curriculum and methods. 

"The Modern Sunday School," Cope, Chapters XII, XIII, 

"Principles and Ideals for the Sunday School," Burton 
and Mathews, Part I, Chapters V, VI. Part II, Chapters 



Record the programs of the opening and closing service 
of worship of your Sunday school or of one of the depart- 
ments for two or three Sundays. 

What was the aim of each program? How many of the 
items in each were really shared by the whole group? How 
many were not? 

Find out from pupils in different parts of the school 
what parts of the service they like best and why. 

1. The Need of Training in Worship. Every Chris- 
tian church, and for that matter every reflective 
Christian, recognizes the need of a direct sense of 
the presence of God in our lives. Chief among the 
means by which we become aware of God's presence 
is worship. In it, either as individuals or as a group, 
we turn to him in faith, in hope, in love, in loyalty, 
in gratitude, or in reverence. By prayer or praise 
or meditation we come before him and find his 
Spirit responding to us. Often when we are alone 
we so seek him. Often, too, as a group we express 
our common needs and aspirations to him who is 
our Father. Moreover, not only Christian experience 
through the centuries but all human experience be- 
fore Christianity and in other religions as well 
points to worship as meeting an essential need of 
human nature. How important it is, then, that we 
should so train our children and young people that 



they will normally and effectively find their way 
directly to God in their private devotions and in 
public worship. 1 

Yet when we come to examine the provision that 
is made for this in many of our Sunday schools 
what do we find? We find, first of all, widespread 
misconceptions of the place of worship in the pro- 
gram of the school. The "opening exercises" in many 
schools serve only the purpose of "getting things 
started," of stimulating school spirit, of occupying 
the time until the late pupils and teachers arrive, 
of practicing hymns to be sung at a special service. 
The "closing exercises" again are used for "lesson 
review" or "to dismiss the school." Thus, the spirit 
of worship is undermined or destroyed. A great 
hymn expressing the highest aspirations of the 
Christian life is interrupted by directions to hold 
the last note or by the loud beating of time by the 
leader. The spirit of a prayer in which the hearts 
of all are lifted to God is broken by announcements 
of the sale of tickets for a strawberry festival or 
haphazard notices of meetings. Often the embarrass- 
ments are due to insufficient preparation on the part 
of the leader. A superintendent spends a few 
moments before the school meets in selecting hymns, 
some of which probably represent the religious ex- 
perience of adults which children do not share. 
He will call upon a teacher for extempore prayer, 
ask the pastor or a visitor to make a few remarks 
to the school, and sing another hymn. Small won- 

1 The treatment here given applies particularly to the services of worship 
in the Sunday school. For a fuller discussion of the nature of worship and 
the processes of training in private as well as in public worship the student 
should see "The Training of the Devotional Life," Meyer and Kennedy, in this 



der that under these circumstances children grow- 
up without a real sense of reverence, and that 
"church" is a bore to them because they have never 
learned in Sunday school to share in common wor- 

What conditions do you find in your school that 
interfere with the true spirit of worship ? How may 
they be removed? 

2. How Worship Helps to Make the Christian. 
Growth in the Christian religion is more than growth 
in Christian knowledge and in Christian fellow serv- 
ice. It involves a development of a definite sense 
of present relationship to God. The pupils of the 
Sunday school must not know God simply as one 
about whom they learn nor in response to whose 
commands they do certain things. They must find 
him for themselves as their God, as their loving 
heavenly Father, at each stage of their experience. 
Just as in the case of knowledge or conduct, so in 
the case of worship we cannot make the child de- 
velop ; we can only guide his development by remov- 
ing obstructions and providing helps. This must 
be done just as surely for worship as for knowledge 
and conduct. For worship is the focus of the experi- 
ence of the pupil in religion. On the one hand, all 
that he has learned from study and example and 
in daily living is gathered up and unified in one 
experience, which is the expression of himself to 
God. On the other hand, this experience in itself 
modifies his future actions. The points of view 
and attitudes of mind suggested and expressed in 
worship become an essential part of his thought of 
God and of his life with his fellows. A group of 



children after a service of worship were in an 
elevator that suddenly stuck between floors. Some 
were frightened, but a little girl of six quietly quoted 
the hymn that had been sung : 

"God is my strong salvation; 
What foe have I to fear?" 

It is thus that worship helps to make the Chris- 

"Worship is not," writes Jay S. Stowell, "an end 
in itself, but, by making God and his purposes a 
reality in the life of the Christian, it tends to unify, 
to solemnize, and to give purpose to all of life. The 
test of worship is always to be found in its effect 
upon life. It makes the spiritual world a reality, 
but it does more than this. It helps to create ideals 
and to crystallize desires, ambitions, and purposes. 
It moves the feelings and, by creating or intensifying 
certain attitudes of mind, modifies all the activities 
of one's life. It thus supplements and gives effec- 
tiveness to our teaching of Christian truth." 2 

Do you remember some church service that in- 
spired you and gave you new determination for 
Christian living? How did the service accomplish 

3. Principles that Guide Training in Worship. Just 
as the characteristics and growth of the pupil on the 
one hand, and the idea of the kind of a person we 
want him to be on the other, determine the princi- 
ples governing instruction, 3 so they determine the 
principles of training in worship. These principles, 

* "The Sunday School at Work," Fans (editor), pages 402, 403. 
i See Chapter IV. 



which govern selection of material and the conduct 
of worship, are four: 

(a) Unity. — The educational power of common 
worship lies in the fact that the "suggestions" made 
by other's conduct, which so greatly influence the 
formation of character, are here not scattered or con- 
tradictory but united in a single complete impres- 
sion. This impression is all the stronger upon the 
individual because it comes from all those about 
him at once, and because he himself is taking part 
also. For this reason anything that tends to destroy 
that unity of impression should be removed, and 
whatever promotes it should be added. 

This will require, first of all, a unity in the group 
itself. It must be a group that can worship effec- 
tively together. The characteristic attitudes of mind 
in worship can be experienced by all ages from the 
beginners to the adults. Nevertheless, the forms of 
expression and the range of ideas are so different 
in different ages that the most effective training 
in worship requires division of the school into de- 
partments. Here the material of worship can be 
carefully adapted to the characteristics of the par- 
ticular groups. In any case the beginners', the pri- 
mary, and the junior group should each have its 
own program and place of worship. 

It is particularly worth while to let the boys and 
girls of high-school age be responsible, under wise 
supervision, for the conduct of their own services. 
This will be especially effective if they have already 
had thorough training in the preceding departments. 
Specific provision for the adult classes need not be 
made in the Sunday-school service, as the church 



service is largely designed for them, and because 
a service planned for others in the school will usu- 
ally be appreciated by adults also. At regular in- 
tervals, at least as often as once a quarter, the 
entire school should worship together. The younger 
pupils and the older need to know one another as 
part of the same school, and — more important — 
as all children of the same heavenly Father whom 
they unitedly worship. 

The principle of unity further requires that within 
any group at worship all must be actively worshiping 
— teachers and officers as well as pupils and leaders. 
The sight of a secretary making out reports or of 
officers moving about distracts attention from the 
service. • 

Again, nothing in the contents of the service 
should be contrary to the spirit of worship. Such 
unworshipful matters as business announcements 
and the reading of reports should be eliminated. 
Care should also be taken that the attitude of mind 
in one part of the service is in harmony with that 
in the rest. 

Finally, the conduct of the service should be uni- 
fied. It should move forward steadily. Dragging 
here, hurrying there, extra directions and changes, 
should be avoided. This does not mean that more 
than one person may not take part in leading the 
service, but that all that is done is done in harmony 
with the spirit of worship. 

(6) Familiarity plus variety. — The spirit of wor- 
ship can be maintained only when there is a free- 
dom from strangeness, from wonder at what is com- 
ing next. Curiosity and uncertainty greatly hinder 



the attitude of reverence. The pupils wonder what 
the leader is about instead of being occupied with 
the thoughts of the hymns and prayers used. The 
pupils must feel at home in worshiping God. Yet 
care must be taken to see that the services do not 
become monotonous. The superintendent's favorite 
hymn may readily become a bore to the pupils. The 
order of service or its lack of order may become 
wearisome, and the pupils' active minds will seek 
occupation elsewhere. 

(c) Dignity. — Not only must the service maintain 
unity, familiarity, and variety ; it must be dignified. 
Dignity does not mean that it is to be "very solemn" 
and "long-faced." On the contrary, it must be joy- 
ous and bright, for we learn best when we are happy. 
Dignity means that nothing must be used in the 
service which is not worthy of use in the worship 
of God. Songs with meaningless words written to 
fit boisterous or jingling tunes (sometimes called 
"holy ragtime"), "longwinded" and perfunctory 
prayers, a blatant orchestra, personal anecdotes, do 
not belong in a program of worship. 

(d) Adaptation. — The final principle — which we 
have already seen at work in the making of the cur- 
riculum — is adaptation. The materials must be 
selected with the worshiping group in view. Only 
so can the pupils express themselves in worship. 
Children must not be forced into the artificiality 
of expressing as their own what are really adult 
religious experiences. "A healthy boy does not 'long 
to rise in the arms of faith/ and if he is sighing 
for 'peace, perfect peace' he needs a doctor." 4 The 

4 "The Modern Sunday School," Cope, page 97. 



same attention given to the selection of the material 
for the curriculum must also be used here. Care 
must be taken that the words and phrases are under- 
stood by the pupils. This can best be assured by 
the teacher in the class. Before new hymns and 
prayers are used, the teachers should be informed, 
that pupils may have time to study and learn them. 

Test the program of last Sunday's service in Sun- 
day school and in church by these principles. 

4. The Materials for Training in Worship. The 
materials for training in worship may be divided 
into five classes: 

(a) The surroundings of worship. — The entire at- 
mosphere and spirit of worship can be greatly helped 
if the room in which the service is held is one which 
promotes reverence. Wherever possible each depart- 
ment should have a separate room for its service. 
This room should be attractive and cheerful and, 
if possible, beautiful. All appearance of disorder 
should be avoided in the arrangement of the chairs, 
the furnishings of the platform, and the general neat- 
ness of the room. At intervals the school should 
hold a service in the church auditorium itself, that 
it may become more and more a center of worship 
to the pupils as they approach a larger part in the 
church's activity. 

(&) Hymns and music afford a recognized source 
of material. No large number of hymns is needed 
for training in worship. They should be carefully 
selected both as to music and words for the pupil's 
use according to the principles of dignity and adapta- 
tion. 5 Many of the great hymns of the church are 

8 For lists see "The Church School," Atheam. 



suitable for children, and acquaintance with them 
will make the church service more meaningful for 
the pupil. It will be wise usually to have them 
explained in the classes and at least partly memo- 
rized before being sung. The spirit of worship is 
aided by singing the "Amen" at the end of hymns. 
"Amen" may also be sung at the end of the Lord's 
Prayer or of the benediction. Appropriate sentences 
set to music and memorized are very satisfactory 
for calls to worship, dedication of offerings, doxolo- 
gies, and benedictions. 

Sometimes some great masterpiece of religious 
music can be played on the organ, in place of the 
leader's talk, with good educational results. To 
assist in leading the singing a carefully selected 
church choir under competent leadership can be 
formed in some schools. This should, however, not 
be permitted to do the singing for the school and 
displace the activity of the pupils as a whole. The 
singing of the school itself should be hearty, but not 
boisterous and not unnecessarily loud. Meaning is 
more important than volume. Singing should be 
competently led. Instrumental accompaniment, 
whether piano, organ, or ochestra, must be well done 
or omitted. 

(c) Readings from the Scriptures may be properly 
a part of the service— especially those portions of 
the Bible, such as many of the Psalms, which are 
adapted to worship. Selections should be carefully 
made with the development of the pupils in mind. 
On the whole, only such passages as can be read 
responsively without spoiling the sense should be 
so read. Narratives and other prose passages should 



usually be read by the leader or some older pupil 
or occasionally by the school in unison. 

(d) Prayers and benedictions. — Almost every 
adult who seeks to express to God the prayer of 
children will fail unless careful preparation is made. 
Adult phrases and ideas that are meaningless to a 
pupil are likely to slip in. More important than the 
leader's prayers are the prayers used by the school 
or the department in unison. In addition to the 
Lord's Prayer the church has many other fine short 
prayers, one or two of which can be memorized by 
the pupils from time to time and used in the service. 
If the prayer is genuine and expressive of the united 
desires of the school, the pupils will speedily make 
it their own. Often short prayers can be composed 
for the use of the school in this way. At times a 
class can contribute to the worship service a prayer 
that it has composed for its own use. Prayers should 
generally be brief and always to the point. Sen- 
tences used as calls to worship, responses, and bene- 
dictions can be collected from the Scriptures and 
from books of worship and said or sung. 

(e) The final class of material consists of stories 
and talks. These, again, should be carefully selected 
and prepared beforehand, so that they may be used 
by the leader without a hitch. In the story or talk 
the leader has an opportunity to bring out more 
clearly the central theme of the service and its con- 
nection with the pupil's experience outside of the 
service. For the younger pupils the story form is 
generally satisfactory, though it need not always 
be used. Stories can be drawn from the Bible, from 
missionary and historical biography, from incidents 



of modern life related in the newspapers, from nu- 
merous children's story books, and from other 
sources. They should be carefully adapted in length 
and in vocabulary and should conform to the princi- 
ples of the art of story-telling." 

The wise leader will make a collection of stories 
talks, hymns, music, prayers, psalms, calls to wor- 
ship, responses, and benedictions, to which he will 
constantly be adding. Each item in it will be labeled 
to indicate its central thought or the attitude that 
it expresses and the grades of pupils for whom it is 
suited. He will then have a storehouse to which 
he can turn in need. He should also keep a record 
of each service, giving its order and its contents, 
that he may know in planning future services just 
what he has done in the past. 

What materials for training in worship are used 
m your school? What are not? Why? 

5. Forming the Program of Worship.' I n forming 
the program of worship the leader will be guided by 
the principles of unity, familiarity, and variety. Let 
us assume that he has a body of material from which 
to draw, already selected on the basis of its dignitv 
and adaptation. How is he to meet the requirements 
ot the other principles? 

The best way in which to achieve unity is to select 
some central theme or attitude of mind about which 
to organize the service. Such a method is usually 
followed in the case of missionary, Thanksgiving, 
Easter, and Christmas services, and should be at 
phed t0 a11 the other programs of worship. Not 

St.' i'ohT '° TeU St0ries t0 CM-tan," Bryant, and "Stories and Story Telling." 



only the events of the church and the national year, 
but many other central themes can be found. Dr. 
Hartshorne suggests gratitude, good will (or love), 
reverence, faith, and loyalty as the fundamental 
Christian attitudes toward God and man about 
which services may be planned, including those sug- 
gested by the calendar. Selecting one of these, the 
leader can readily draw from his collection two or 
three hymns, a prayer, a responsive reading, and a 
story or talk, perhaps also a call to worship and a 
benediction, all of which express the attitude 
selected. With them he can form a unified service 
in which the cumulative effect of the different parts 
will be of marked educational value. 7 

The second problem of the leader is the mainte- 
nance of a sense of familiarity and variety. Famil- 
iarity can be obtained by keeping the elements of 
the service in just the same order for several weeks 
and using for part or all of the time the same call 
to worship, the same unison prayer, the same bene- 
diction, and the same Psalm. The hymns used should 
frequently be repeated during the period while the 
order is being retained. Few children — and few 
grown people, for that matter — exhaust the meaning 
of a hymn in using it half a dozen times, especially 
if from time to time parts of it are discussed in 
class. With this should be joined the use of the 
same central theme for several successive services, 
making a connected series possible and thus increas- 
ing the cumulative effect — the more necessary be- 
cause of the brevity and infrequency of the worship 

7 Examples of such services will be found in "The Training of the Devo- 
tional Life," Meyer and Kennedy, and "Manual for Training in Worship," 



period. If the order, the theme, the hymns, and 
other parts of the service which have become familiar 
are then dropped for a few months, a sense of both 
familiarity and variety will result when they are 
taken up again. This, of course, can be done only^ 
if a carefully dated record is kept of what is used 
in the services. 

Were the programs of worship of the past two of 
three Sundays graded? In what respect? 

6. The Leadership of Worship. All this careful 
planning which the training of children in worship 
requires and deserves because of its importance can 
be done only by one adapted to the task and willing 
to work hard. One whose personal appearance is 
slovenly, voice harsh, manner unpleasant, and sense 
of good workmanship deficient can hardly meet the 
conditions. Most often the leadership in each de- 
partment is taken by the superintendent of that de- 
partment. In the Intermediate, Senior, and Young 
People's Departments the responsibility for leader- 
ship may often be properly put on the pupils them- 
selves. Where these leaders have not had training 
in the principles governing the conduct of worship, 
the school should arrange for special conference and 
instruction for them. 

Many large schools have what are called "plat- 
form superintendents." If they also supervise the 
programs of worship in the various departments of 
the school they might be designated as "supervisors" 
or "directors of worship." 

In cooperation with the officer in charge of wor- 
ship should be all the teachers and officers. He or 
the chosen leader should inform them two or three 



weeks in advance of the order and contents of his 
program, that they may have opportunity to explain 
the order to the pupils if it is one not yet familiar, 
to have such parts as require it memorized, and 
their meaning made clear. Frequently after the serv- 
ice the teacher, by discussion with the pupils, can 
explain misunderstood phrases, bring out the rela- 
tionship of some part of it to the pupil's experience, 
and test the impression made by the service. In 
this discussion the teacher will often be able to 
bring before the class the subject of private prayer 
and family devotions. 

The wise leader will value highly the reports of 
the teachers upon the effect of the services upon the 
pupils. It is almost the only method he has for 
testing his work. Many schools will find it worth 
while to have a committee of the teaching staff on 
worship to cooperate with the leader. 

What training in habits of personal prayer is your 
school providing? 

Constructive Work 

Take the program of worship for the last session of your 
school and state how you would enrich it and make it 
more effective. 

Make out the programs for a series of three services 
centering about the theme "good will" on the basis of the 
principles and materials suggested above. 


"The Training of the Devotional Life," Meyer and 

"Worship in the Sunday School," Hartshorne, Chapters 


I, III IV, VII, VIII, IX; "Manual for Training in Wor- 
ship," various sections. 
x ^he Sunday School at Work," Paris (editor), Chapter 

'Trinciples and Ideals for the Sunday School," Burton 
and Mathews, Part II, Chapter VII. 
"The Modern Sunday School," Cope, Chapter X. 



Make a list of the various kinds of things being done 
by the several classes in your school. What connection 
have these with the truth being taught. Are they such 
and are they done in such a way as to develop Christian 

1. The Place of Expression in Religions Edncation. 
In all education to-day large emphasis is given to 
the necessity of self-expression. "Learn by doing" 
i3 the much-repeated motto. Long before the modern 
pedagogue emphasized the truth, Jesus stated the 
principle in his fundamental and familiar words, 
"If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of 
the teaching." 

In religious education expressional activity has a 
double function. In the first place, the instruction 
given must be made vivid in the mind of the learner 
by some form of response, such as stating the truth 
in answer to questions, telling a story, handwork, 
dramatics, etc. Such expressional activities con- 
stitute a part of the teaching process. But the truth 
learned, if it is to have religious significance, must 
pass over into life; and this calls for another form 
of expression. The student must become by doing. 
By practice the Christian truth must be converted 
into Christian character. And the truth must be 



expressed in two directions — toward God and toward 
man — the one in worship and the other in conduct. 

Teaching and worship have already been consid- 
ered. We must now give attention to those activities 
that serve to body forth the truth in conduct. The 
task of the Sunday school is not ended when the 
truth has been made real in the mind of the pupil, 
nor when the spirit of reverence has been inculcated, 
and the habit of worship formed. The Sunday school 
must include within its scope the training of pupils 
in Christian conduct. This justifies and demands 
many forms of activity. But activities should be 
selected for their character-forming value. The Sun- 
day school is not an organization for promoting 
athletics, raising the finances of the church, doing 
the charity and social work of the community, 
promoting temperance reforms, or carrying on mis- 
sionary operations. These are all worthy ends and 
may properly have a place in the Sunday school, but 
they should be there not as ends but as means to 
an end. They have their place in the Sunday school 
for the purpose of training the pupils in Christlike 
character and service. 

Does your Sunday school, as a part of its work, 
provide things for the pupils to do which have as 
their definite purpose to transform the truth taught 
into conduct? 

2. Types of Activity. Among the several forms of 
activity that serve to transform truth into charac- 
ter one may mention recreation and play. Recrea- 
tion has had some place in the Sunday-school 
schedule, but largely as a drawing card — not as a 
part of the educational work of the school. It re- 



mains for the Sunday school to appreciate the char- 
acter-making value of play in its many forms. This 
it should be quick to do. Education, as has al- 
ready been said, is largely through activity on the 
part of the pupil. Couple with this the fact that 
play is the normal, spontaneous activity of the child, 
and it will lead at once to an appreciation of play 
for the purpose of character building. And this con- 
clusion emphasizes the importance of the Sunday 
school's interesting itself in the play activities of 
the children and young people and making these 
serve the end of religious training. The playground 
should be made the laboratory for vitalizing the 
moral and religious principles taught in the class- 
room, and the school and teacher that fail to make 
this connection are losing one of the best oppor- 
tunities for developing Christian character. 

Passing to other forms of activity through which 
the Sunday school can convert principle into prac- 
tice, we may note, first, the giving of money. Sun- 
day-school benevolence should be estimated not in 
terms of the immediate financial returns but in its 
effect upon the members of the school. The best plan 
is not the one that gets the most money, but the one 
that develops the most Christlike givers. It should 
afford every pupil an opportunity to practice the 
true Christian principles of giving and to practice 
these in such a consistent and systematic way as to 
form fixed habits of life. Such a system must empha- 
size the true motive of giving. It must be the ex- 
pression of a genuine, grateful, unselfish spirit. It 
must cultivate generous, proportionate giving, allow- 
ing the pupils to determine the amount of their 



offering. It must practice the pupil in the wise 
selection of the objects most worthy of their help. 
It must accustom them to systematic, businesslike 
methods of making their contributions. To teach the 
pupils the true principles of benevolence without 
providing for their proper expression through a 
suitable financial system is to do a grave injustice 
both to them and to the kingdom of God as a whole. 
Again, there is a responsibility resting upon the 
Sunday school to train the members in loyalty to the 
church and to service in it. The cause of Christ is 
to-day suffering seriously at this point. The church 
is shorn of much of its rightful power because of the 
multitudes who are professed followers of Christ 
but who render little or no service to his cause. No- 
where, perhaps, is there such an opportunity to train 
loyal workers for the church as is to be found in 
the Sunday school. Many lines of activity connected 
with the organization and work of the class, both 
during the recitation period and in midweek gather- 
ings, may be used to develop loyal and efficient serv- 
ice to the institution. A wider field of training in 
such service is offered by the numerous and varied 
activities necessary to the successful operation of 
the school in its several departments. Thus, the 
Sunday school, through manifold forms of effort, 
should give to its pupils the opportunity to express 
their loyalty to Christ in personal helpfulness in 
the organized work of his kingdom. Let the pupils 
learn to work together in a class organization, each 
doing the task that falls to him from time to time; 
have them share in the larger responsibilities of the 
departmental organization and service; give them 



duties to perform, as maturer age may justify, as 
helpers in the work of the school ; see that they are 
allowed to serve the church in such capacity as they 
may be prepared for. Such training, continued 
throughout the growing years, should furnish faith- 
ful workers and leaders for all the departments of 
church activity. 

But the Sunday school cannot be content to de- 
velop loyal churchmen, however efficient they may 
be. It must assist its pupils to translate its teach- 
ing of brotherhood into broad, brotherly conduct 
and character. It must develop the social spirit by 
encouraging and practicing social service. And for 
such development the Sunday school has many 
simple, practical opportunities. Acts of kindness 
and protection to pets and animals are of value in 
expressing and fixing a proper attitude toward these 
lower creatures, and they are of service also in 
helping to develop a more general social spirit. 
Visiting the strangers, caring for the sick, feeding 
the hungry, clothing the needy, helping the unfortu- 
nate, doing the brother's part to everyone that needs 
a brother — such activities furnish a fine field for ex- 
pressing and thus developing a genuine social life. 
In most communities and by most schools such serv- 
ices may be rendered directly, and also indirectly 
through cooperation with the various welfare agen- 
cies. Each form of service has some advantages, and 
each may well be used. Thus, so numerous and 
varied are the opportunities that every class, every 
individual member of the school, can share in such 
socializing service. 

Again, the Sunday school cannot be content not 


to cultivate in its members a positive and aggressive 
missionary life. The sense of obligation to all the 
world must be given the opportunity to express it- 
self in world-wide service. This is to be done by the 
utilization of missionary activities, which are, how- 
ever, such activities as have already been discussed 
properly interpreted and directed. Play activities, 
giving of money, and personal service in many forms 
may all be used for transforming the principles of 
missions into missionary living. For example, mis- 
sionary dramas and pageants appeal to the play in- 
stinct and serve to cultivate a missionary attitude. 
Benevolence intelligently directed by the members of 
the school to missionary courses at home and abroad 
will create interest and fix habits of conduct. Like- 
wise, many forms of personal service rendered for 
special missionary enterprises will serve to bind 
those thus engaged more closely to the cause assisted. 
To neglect such forms of activity is largely to fail 
in developing a true missionary spirit and life. 

Other types of activity may be used by the Sunday 
school through which to guide the pupils in their 
expression of Christian truth in every everyday liv- 
ing. Indeed, there is no form of the daily conduct 
that may not to some extent be made to serve this 
purpose. Constant association with companions in 
home and school and community furnishes innumer- 
able opportunities. Our daily conduct in the various 
relationships of life constitutes, after all, the best 
test of Christian character. An offering to some good 
cause, a kind deed to an unfortunate widow, or some 
service to the cause of missions, beautiful as these 
things are, will not take the place of a right attitude 



to one's associates in home and school and the world 
at large. The Sunday school should therefore seek 
to guide its pupils in carrying over the teaching of 
the class into their daily lives. This is much more 
than the familiar "application" at the close of the 
lesson. It means to point out in the daily life the 
appropriate response to the truth taught and to en- 
courage its practice until it has become habitual. 
This is no doubt more difficult for the teacher than 
other forms of expressional forms of activity, but 
it surely is not impossible nor unimportant. Beli- 
gion is not a small part of life ; it is life itself. So 
the daily walk and conversation must be made the 
field for turning truth into character. 

To what extent is your school making those several 
forms of activity serve the purpose of religious de- 

3. A Program of Activity. In endeavoring to form- 
ulate a program of activity for the Sunday school 
the same general principles must be applied as in 
the case of the curriculum and the program of wor- 
ship. That is to say, the needs of the growing life 
must be the test. The question is not how much 
money must be raised in order to enable the school 
to make a good showing, nor what forms of service in 
the Sunday school and church need to be done, nor 
how many unfortunate families in the community 
must be cared for, etc. These are important con- 
siderations, but they lose sight of the educational 
purpose of the Sunday school. The question to be 
asked as a guide to the program of activity for the 
school is, What forms of activity are best suited to 
the needs of the particular pupil or groups? Unless 



the activity undertaken is the expression of the real 
self it fails to educate; indeed, it may turn out to 
be very harmful. By giving a group of children 
things to do in which they are not particularly in- 
terested and for which they are not sufficiently pre- 
pared there is danger of causing an unhealthy re- 
action that will greatly retard their proper develop- 
ment. The activities selected for each group must 
be such as to allow the free, pleasurable expression 
of their real selves. 

In keeping with this general principle the activi- 
ties of the Sunday school should be carefully graded 
according to the ages and maturity of the pupils, 
just as the course of study is graded. Indeed, the 
course of study and the expressional activities are 
two parts of the same educational process. They 
must therefore be in accord. The activities should 
be adapted to the truths taught. As the lessons 
from grade to grade are arranged to meet the needs 
of the growing person, so the program of activity 
must furnish a channel of expressing these truths 
in conduct. This does not mean, of course, that the 
things given each grade to do are to be entirely dif- 
ferent from those selected for other grades. It 
simply means that they are to be graded in the same 
way that the teaching material is graded. Love for 
others may be taught to the little child and also 
to the young man, but in different ways; so the 
expression of this principle suggested for the little 
child would certainly not be the same as that for 
the young man. 

This leads to the further suggestion that the ac- 
tivities should be selected with reference to the great 


Christian seasons, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, 
and Easter. Each has its own peculiar message and 
makes its distinct appeal. There should be given 
to each pupil an opportunity for an appropriate and 
adequate response to the appeal made. In this way 
the high days in the Christian calendar should be 
made to serve the purpose of Christian education 
rather than the occasion for the display of self-in- 
dulgence, selfishness, or worldliness. In this way 
there is afforded, also, an opportunity for desirable 
variety in the activities of the school and at the 
same time a no less desirable emphasis upon the 
most essential qualities of Christian life. 

Finally, it may be well to state definitely what 
has already been implied in the foregoing paragraphs 
— namely, that the activities selected for the several 
grades and classes must be so related as to constitute 
a unified program for the entire school. There must 
be consistency, progress, unity throughout. Only 
so can the program of activity provide the means 
of a consistent, progressive development of the in- 
dividual's religious life through the several stages 
of growth up to maturity. To accomplish such well- 
proportioned development it is very important that 
the school as a whole should have a consistent pro- 
gram of activity and not allow separate grades or 
classes to select the things they wish to do entirely 
apart from the rest of the school. 

What the program should be in any given school 
depends to a large degree on the local conditions. 
While the principles in keeping with which the ac- 
tivities must be selected are the same for all schools, 
their application must be made in part by each 



separate school. Therefore, a program of conduct 
for schools in general can be suggested only in barest 

In the Beginners' Department large emphasis may 
be given to play activities ; games which have educa- 
tional value may be taught, and the children may be 
encouraged to play them during the week. Offerings 
may be made for some object about which the chil- 
dren know and in which they are made interested. 
They may help to make the room beautiful by bring- 
ing flowers and may help to send cards and other 
reminders to absent and sick members. Pictures 
may be cut out and scrapbooks made for children 
in hospitals. Simple home duties may be suggested 
and reports asked. 

In the Primary and Junior Departments much the 
same program may be followed, only the activities 
may be broader. These children will be interested 
in more advanced games. They may be asked to 
report on the play activities of the week. Thus the 
teacher will have an opportunity to commend the 
better features and discourage those that are un- 
desirable. The members of the class may assist the 
teacher in making the room attractive and in pre- 
paring material for the class hour. They may look 
up the absent members and new members of the 
class. Their contributions should be directed in a 
way that will interest them and enlarge their in- 
terest, while they are encouraged to make their own 
money in simple service about their homes. The 
care of pets and other animals, making scrapbooks 
and other objects for those who are sick, helping to 
care for some unfortunate child or friend, doing un- 



selfish, helpful deeds for associates in home and 
school, all are worthwhile avenues of service. 

In the Intermediate and Senior Departments the 
organization of the several classes furnishes an 
opportunity for developing a sense of responsibility 
and leadership. Competitive games with other 
groups rightly directed may have great educational 
value for moral and religious life as well as develop 
a fine spirit of loyalty to the class and the Sunday 
school. Simple plays and pageants may likewise be 
found of great value. The young people may render 
many services to the school and church as messengers 
and assistants, in the music, in decorating, helping 
to edit the weekly bulletin, and the like. More 
advanced instruction should find expression in en- 
larged giving. More responsibility should be placed 
upon the members of the class for making their own 
money and for selecting the object of their offerings. 
Many forms of social service to the poor and the 
stranger and to various worthy organizations are 
to be found in every community. Objects should be 
made and offerings given for definite mission fields 
or causes. Encourage the practice of Christian truth 
in the definite duties of home and school, and let 
reports be made and discussed. The definite and 
whole-hearted commitment of one's life to Christ 
and his cause should be included in the program 
of expression for this period. 

The Young People's Department should provide 
recreational and social activities in keeping with 
the high principles taught in the class, that the 
young people may live a happy, normal, Christian 
life. They should enter fully into the various lines 



of school and church activity. They can volunteer 
as officers, ushers, and musicians in the services, they 
can build up the attendance, do personal evangelis- 
tic work, cooperate in the financial plans, etc. Many 
of the young people, particularly the more capable 
ones, should be led to take up the work of teaching 
in the Sunday school as a field of great usefulness. 
By pursuing a teacher-training course and by prac- 
tice in teaching a class they should be made efficient 
for the work. In the community life unlimited op- 
portunities are afforded for the expression of the 
Christ spirit. These should be studied, and selec- 
tions made suitable to the several groups. The call 
for workers in needy fields, at home and abroad, 
should be kept before the young people and lead to 
the dedication of life to Christian service in these 

Has the school with which you are connected any 
program of activity? 

4. Directing the Activities. The importance of the 
proper direction of the varied activities of the school 
can scarcely be overestimated. Without this the re- 
sults may be quite different from those desired. In- 
stead of ministering to the harmonious development 
of Christian character they may tend to onesidedness 
and shallowness. There is danger, for example, that 
such activities, because of the strong appeal they 
make to children and young people, may tend to 
divert attention from the course of study and to 
some extent convert the school from its educational 
task into an agency to amuse the pupils and to get 
things done for the church. In connection with the 
social-service activities of the school in particular 



there is the further danger of developing a self- 
righteous, professional, or snobbish attitude on the 
part of those engaged in the work; or, through the 
unwise giving of help to the needy, of weakening 
the sense of self-respect of those assisted. Such 
dangers can be avoided only by the careful selection 
and supervision of the activities of the various 
classes and grades. 

The accomplishment of this as a part of the educa- 
tional work of the school depends very largely on 
the teachers of the several classes. The teacher must 
appreciate and utilize the individual characteristics 
of each pupil, but at the same time seek to develop 
the group-consciousness of the class. He must make 
the life of the class, as far as possible, a normal, 
active, happy Christian experience. To do this he 
cannot be content simply to meet and instruct his 
class on Sunday morning, but throughout the week 
must seek and find opportunities to share his life 
with them and to partake with them of their experi- 

Constructive Work 

In keeping with the above discussion formulate for some 
one department of your school a tentative program of 
activity designed to train the students in Christian con- 



Make a detailed list, in order, of everything that was 
done in some Sunday-school class last Sunday, noting how 
large a part the pupils had in the activity of the class. 

1. Educational Opportunity in the Sunday-School 
Class. The class is the center of the pupil's experi- 
ence in the Sunday school. In it he can feel a 
greater sense of personal proprietorship, and thus of 
responsibility, than in any other part of the school. 
"My class," "our class," are words of educational 
value. For it is in learning the lessons of loyalty 
and responsibility to the class that the larger les- 
sons of loyalty to school and to church, to the com- 
munity and to God, are learned. The pupil who, as 
one of a group, gains a sense of fellowship in reli- 
gion with his companions and who develops habits 
of helpfulness and cooperation in the class will be- 
come — is already — a useful citizen of the kingdom of 
God. Thus, the life of the pupil as a member of the 
class is one of the great educational opportunities 
of the Sunday school. Furthermore, it is through 
the class that the school is able to meet the needs 
of the individual pupil. No two pupils are alike, and 
no two will have just the same contribution to make 
to the kingdom. The school must see that the in- 
dividual abilities and interests of each pupil develop 



in the direction of Christian usefulness, and that 
problems of conduct which each pupil faces for him- 
self have a Christian solution. It is thus in the class 
that the final fitting of the materials and methods of 
religious education to the pupils is made. It is in 
the class that the religious growth of the individual 
is guided. 

Adequate equipment should be provided for the 
work of the class. Coat racks, chairs, and tables of 
the right size, maps, blackboards, pictures, and a 
cupboard or cabinet in which to keep materials from 
Sunday to Sunday are important. 

Nothing should be permitted to interfere with the 
legitimate work of the class. A length of time for 
its session sufficient for it to accomplish its work 
without hurry should be given. It should be pro- 
tected from interruption. Where possible a separate 
room should be provided ; and if this is not possible, 
arrangements to shut out disturbing sights and 
sounds and still provide light, air, and the right 
temperature should be made. The class should not 
be interrupted by a secretary's appearance in the 
middle of the period, demanding the class records 
and offering. These should be placed outside the 
classroom, where he can collect them without bother- 
ing the class. Similarly other officers, such as the 
superintendent and the librarian, should not inter- 
rupt the class by coming in with notices or with 
business to be transacted. For purposes of super- 
vision, of course, officers of the school may visit the 
class, but this should be done without interruption 
of the discussion. The teacher should usually be 
notified beforehand of such visits and should feel 



free to postpone a visit if he thinks the progress of 
the class will be hindered by it. 

Are the conditions in which the classes work in 
your Sunday school satisfactory? 

2. The Work of a Sunday-School Class. In the three 
chapters we have just finished we have studied the 
threefold program of the school in instruction, in 
worship, and in conduct. We must now see how 
this program applies to the work of the Sunday 
school itself, for it is in the class that each program 
is in part carried out and that all are tested. 

(a) The class and instruction. — As the matter of 
instruction in the class has already been treated, 1 
little need be said here save to emphasize the prin- 
ciple that the lesson should be conducted as an 
activity of the entire class. The entire group should 
take part, and not simply the teacher and the pupil 
to whom he may happen to be talking. Sometimes 
the expressional activity that the lesson requires 
may well take the form of a class enterprise, such as 
the class notebook, "log," or "journal," in which 
essays on characters or incidents studied, maps 
made by the class, descriptions of class frolics, and 
of the Christian service of the class, and the records 
of the class secretary and treasurer may be included. 
This may be part of an exhibit of the work of the 
school at the end of the year. 

Did you observe pupils who were not taking part 
in the activities of their class last Sunday? Why 
do you think they did not? 

( 6 ) The class and worship. — We have already seen 
that common worship is an activity for a larger 

* Chapter IV. 



group than the class. Although this is true, the 
unity of the class as a religious group will be greatly 
helped by the prayer at the opening or closing (or 
both) of the class session. This prayer may be 
offered by the teacher, by a pupil, or by all in unison. 
Where the class is organized, the president or a 
committee may be made responsible for leadership. 
The individual pupil, who often feels embarrassed 
if asked to lead in prayer, can be trained to lead 
without fear if for a time a unison prayer is used, 
or if the prayer is written and learned beforehand. 
The class may adopt as its class prayer a prayer 
already written or, better, may unite in composing 
a prayer that will be even more its own because all 
have shared in deciding what should go into it, and 
because it is thus more certain to express the real 
desires of the class. Moreover, the worship program 
of the school will require in the class the discussion 
and explanation of the orders of service, the meaning 
of prayers and hymns, and the partial memorizing 
of parts of the service. This all affords the teacher 
an opportunity to guide the pupils in learning the 
meaning of prayer and in helping to form habits of 
private prayer at home. 2 

(c) The social life and service of the class. — The 
group spirit on which we have seen the cultivation of 
Christian character depends can be brought out only 
if those composing the group are well acquainted 
with one another. Moreover, they must find the 
group one in which other than exclusively religious 
interests are considered, lest religion seem unrelated 
to life outside the Sunday-school hour. The pupils 

2 See "The Training of the Devotional Life," Meyer and Kennedy. 



must play together as well as worship and study to- 
gether. This is important, also, because in play the 
teacher has a chance to observe the spontaneous 
activity of the pupils and to know them better. If 
the pupils have elsewhere sufficient opportunity, 
these playtimes need not be frequent. Otherwise the 
school should make it a larger part of its ministry 
to the life of the child and of the youth. For these 
reasons, from time to time, opportunity will be given 
to the class to play together in the ways most natural 
to their age and sex, sometimes joining in the frolics 
of a department or of the school as a whole. 

Quite as important are the enterprises in Chris- 
tian service which the class undertakes. A sugges- 
tive program of such activities has been given in 
Chapter VI. By these enterprises class unity is 
developed, and in them both the class and its in- 
dividual members can lose their selfishness in doing 
something for others. As far as possible both re- 
sponsibility and freedom of choice in these matters 
should be put upon the pupils. A class treasury 
should be kept, and the pupils should select the causes 
to which its funds should go and the amounts each 
should have. There is no great harm done if they 
make mistakes in the use of the funds so long as 
they profit by the experience, for in this way they 
gain training for the larger community life. 

(d) Conducting the class. — For each meeting of 
the class the teacher will have made preparation in 
advance besides actually studying the lesson. Maps 
and pictures needed should be provided, and the 
teachers should have in mind a program for each 
session, even though it may have to be altered as the 



work of the session goes on. A natural order would 
be the class prayer, discussion of the service of wor- 
ship and matters belonging to it, the lesson of the 
day, special studies such as Bible drill and hand- 
work, consideration of the Christian service of the 
class. Not all these elements need appear in every 
session. The wise teacher will not let the program 
become stereotyped or formal. If the class is or- 
ganized, the president may call it to order, lead (or 
call on someone to lead) in the class prayer, ask for 
reports of officers and committees, transact neces- 
sary business rapidly, and then turn the class over 
to the teacher. Or after the class prayer the teacher 
may take charge at once. 

In addition to the activities of the class which the 
curriculum and the program of service call for there 
are many ways in which the pupils can help in con- 
ducting the class. In the class hour they can take 
the collection, mark the attendance and tardiness, 
and distribute books and papers. Outside the Sun- 
day-school session they can hunt up absentees and 
report on them, help them to make up back work, and 
enlist new members. 

Many classes are troubled by inattention and dis- 
order. Attention and order are not to be had by 
demanding them. The key to good order and sus- 
tained attention is interest. If the pupils find the 
work of the class interesting and moving steadily 
from start to finish, there will be no trouble with 
discipline. Pupils who are deficient in normal in- 
terest often need special care. Occasionally this 
will be found to be due to physical and mental 
weakness. Frequently a pupil who because of lack 



of previous training seems bound to create disorder 
can be made to feel the disapproval of the class or r 
if he is a natural leader, may respond to responsi- 
bilities assigned by the teacher. 

Look over the record you have made of activities 
of a class and decide how you would arrange it dif- 
ferently in the light of this section. 

3. The Organization of Classes. The value of free- 
dom of choice and of the taking of responsibility in 
class enterprises in the building of character has 
already been emphasized. These can well be pro- 
moted by class organization. By it not only does 
the class achieve a sense of cohesion and dignity, but 
the officers gain training in thoughtfulness, self-con- 
trol, and leadership. 

Before the later junior years there is not sufficient 
cohesion between the pupils to make organization 
helpful. At that period, however, simple organiza- 
tion may be begun with the teacher as leader. All 
classes of intermediate grade or above should be 
organized. The younger the class, the simpler should 
be the organization, and the more frequently the 
officers should change. For the juniors president, 
secretary, and treasurer are sufficient, and new 
officers should be chosen each quarter. In the Young 
People's Department, on the other hand, the classes 
may have president, vice president, secretary, and 
treasurer, and such standing committees as mem- 
bership, service, and recreation, with elections held 
annually. The organization of the Boy Scouts or 
the Camp Fire Girls and similar societies may be 
fitted effectively into the intermediate and senior 
classes. Particular care in any case should be taken 



to avoid committees or officers that perform no use- 
ful service and provide only an artificial honor. It 
is better to detail special duties to a temporary com- 
mittee that can do its work and then be discharged 
than to have several inactive committees burdening 
the organization. 

A council of class presidents or of class officers 
of the school may be useful in maintaining school 
discipline, in developing a healthy school spirit, and 
in furthering the general interests of the school. 

The organized adult class has special opportunities 
for becoming a large factor in recruiting for the 
adult membership of the church, in personal evan- 
gelism, and in community service. Care must be 
taken that its program is educational as well as 
inspirational and social, and that it does not plan 
its program without recognition of the work of the 
other school and church agencies. 

How many and what classes in your school are 
organized ? Specify some ways in which use is made 
of the organization. 

4. The Relation of the Teacher to the Class. The 
significance of the Christian influence of the teacher 
in the class was indicated in Chapter II, in which 
we saw the power of the "suggestions" made by the 
character of those about the pupil. It is thus very 
important that the atmosphere of the class be as 
natural as possible. Within the class the teacher 
should be a friendly, experienced comrade entering 
into the interests and activities of the class as a 
member of it rather than as a preceptor outside of 
it. Only when necessary for purposes of discipline 
should authority be used, for the wise teacher will 



seek to lead rather than to drive. Moreover, by 
taking the spirit of a member of the class the teacher 
can develop loyalty to the class and the school rather 
than to himself. An overstrong personal attachment 
to the teacher often makes the pupil purely an 
imitator, creates cliques, and causes trouble when 
pupils have to be transferred to other classes. Even 
more seriously, it may block the whole aim of the 
school by substituting devotion to a teacher for de- 
votion to Christ himself. 

5. The Work of the Departments. 3 In a real sense 
the work and life of any department is much more 
than the sum of the work and life of all its classes. 
For while the program of instruction, as we have 
called it, is carried out chiefly in the classes, the 
program of worship is distinctly a departmental 
activity, and the program of service and recreation 
may and often should be very largely so. Moreover, 
as has already been indicated in other chapters, the 
departments will differ from one another not only 
in the contents of the programs of worship and of 
service and recreation but also in the manner in 
which they are carried out. 

(a) In the Beginners' Department, for example, a 
particular order of work for the department is made 
necessary by the fact that long attention to any one 
thing is not possible in young children of that age. 
Wiggly limbs must have exercise. Little fingers tire 
of long-continued handwork. Stories must be in- 
terpreted by imitative action. Furthermore, the 
children are not at the point where loyalty or in- 

3 See also the "nurture" chapters in "Life in the Making," in this series, in 
which departmental programs are given. 



terest in their class as distinct from other classes 
appeals to them. Enterprises undertaken in other 
departments by the class will here accordingly be- 
long to the department. The detailed work of the 
class groups in story-telling or circle talks each Sun- 
day will also be carefully planned for the depart- 
ment as a unit. 

Finally, children of this age are dependent on 
close personal attention in many respects in which 
older pupils are more self-reliant. For this reason 
in a small department the effective organization 
often consists of one teacher and several assistants 
who can guide the children in following the teacher's 
leadership. In a large department each class teacher 
may need one or more assistants. 

(6) In the Primary and Junior Departments a dif- 
ferent situation exists. The active leadership of the 
superintendent of the department in worship and in 
forming the program of activities is still necessary, 
but a larger place can be given to independent sug- 
gestion and the exercise of judgment and decision 
on the part of the pupils. The beginnings of class 
organization may take place in the later junior years, 
but the executive responsibility still needs to rest 
upon the superintendent and teachers. Thus, the 
organization of the department with a superintend- 
ent in executive charge of the whole and with the 
teachers each responsible for a definite class unit 
continues. Here, however, the immediate relation 
of the program of worship or service of the depart- 
ment to the class lesson is less important. Some 
enterprises of service or recreation may be distinctly 
class enterprises; others may be department enter- 



prises, in which some or all of the classes have a 

(c) In the Intermediate, Senior, and Young Peo- 
ple's Departments the ability of the students to carry 
responsibility and exercise initiative and their need 
for such training make wise a different arrangement 
of work. Here, as before, the teachers carry on the 
class instruction, but in the formation and execution 
of the programs of worship and service their part is 
that of counselors rather than of executive officers. 
Not only should the officers of the classes be students, 
but the officers of the departments — president, vice 
president, secretary, and treasurer — should be stu- 
dents chosen by the ballots of their fellows. Under 
the direction of the president and vice president and 
with the aid of the counselor-superintendent, com- 
mittees on program, on service, and on recreation 
will work out the plans for the department. The 
committee on program will decide upon the order 
of the worship service, select those who are to con- 
duct it, and be responsible for its success. 

Such a committee by its very nature will insure 
the adaptation of the program to the students' in- 
terests and needs. Similar work will be done by the 
committee on service and on recreation. When 
necessary special committees may be appointed for 
special needs. Officers in the Intermediate and 
Senior Departments should be elected every half 
year ; in the Young People's Department once a year. 

It thus appears that the activities of the depart- 
ments of the Sunday school become more and more 
the self-initiated, responsible activities of the pupils 
themselves. This is as it should be, for freedom and 



responsibility together are the greatest forces for 
molding character. When this freedom and this re- 
sponsibility are used — as they are in the Sunday 
school — for the worship of God and the service of 
men, it is Christian character of the highest type 
that is being formed. 

Constructive Work 

Review your account of what was done in last Sunday's 
class so as to show just how it could have been ideal. Do 
not hesitate to put down details. 


"The Modern Sunday School," Cope, Chapter XI. 

"Life in the Making," Barclay, Brown, et ah, Chapters V, 

"The Training of the Devotional Life," Meyer and Ken- 
nedy, Chapters X, XI, XII. 



Recall to mind the several phases of your Sunday-school 
session, the preparation made for it, the character of the 
program, the way the program is conducted. Do you think 
the session is well adapted to the purpose set forth in 
Chapter II? 

1. The Time for the Session. The Sunday school 
is ordinarily held just before the morning church 
service, just after the service, or on Sunday after- 
noon. Each hour has some advantages and some 
disadvantages. The early morning hour, for ex- 
ample, interferes with the Sunday morning rest and 
sleep that many greatly desire ; but it finds the mem- 
bers of the school naturally more alive and better 
prepared for work. The hour after church does not 
disturb the morning's repose, but is too limited in 
time and is uncomfortably close to the dinner hour 
and it finds the pupil mentally fatigued. The after- 
noon period gives more time for the session, but has 
to contend against strongly intrenched social and 
domestic customs and crowds the Sabbath day with 
services — morning, afternoon, and night. On the 
whole the early-morning period is much to be pre- 

2. Preparation for the Session. Proper preparation 
for the Sunday-school session is a matter of great 



moment, and one in which everyone connected with 
the school, from sexton to superintendent, is inter- 
ested. Often a service is robbed of its value because 
the conditions are not favorable. The wise Sunday- 
school worker will therefore take care to see that 
all the conditions bearing in any way upon the serv- 
ice are such as to minister to its success. 

Attention must be given before the session be- 
gins to the physical surroundings. The rooms should 
be supplied with abundance of fresh air. The 
temperature should be regulated so as not to make 
the attendants uncomfortably hot or cold. If the 
rooms for any reason are dark, the lights should be 
turned on in order to make them more cheerful and 
inviting. If the clock is not correct, see that it is 
regulated; let the chairs all be in place; have the 
books and other materials of worship or teaching 
properly distributed; see that the maps and black- 
boards are ready for use. Let everything be done 
that can be done to make the surroundings attrac- 
tive and comfortable. And let it be done before 
the session begins, avoiding all unnecessary inter- 
ruptions and confusion. 

The physical conditions may all be perfect, yet 
the session prove to be far from successful. More 
important than the position of the chairs is the atti- 
tude of the people. There must be a true Sunday- 
school spirit, an appreciation of the meaning and 
worth of the school, an enthusiastic desire to have 
a part in its work. And this spirit must find ex- 
pression in regularity and punctuality of attendance 
and a reverent attitude of mind. Unless the mem- 
bers of the school are present on time and ready 



to enter heartily into the service, the session will 
fall short of its purpose. It is particularly impor- 
tant for every officer and teacher to be present and 
in place before time for the school to open. With the 
example of officers and teachers, with a proper effort 
in building up the school ideal and spirit and in 
obtaining the cooperation of the home, it will be 
possible to secure such attendance as to make easy 
the right kind of school session. 

One other condition essential to a successful ses- 
sion must be mentioned — a well-prepared program. 
All the surroundings may be in readiness, and the 
members of the school in place with a true Sunday- 
school spirit; but if the program has not been 
properly prepared, the session will lack value. This 
is ordinarily the duty of the superintendent or of 
the departmental superintendent, as the case may 
be. He has no more important responsibility. Every 
detail of the program should be most carefully 
planned, and everyone who is to take part should 
be made acquainted with what is expected of him. 
The preparation of the program should not be left 
until late in the week. Indeed, much will be gained 
in making arrangements, at least in outline, weeks 
ahead. This will give consistency and a fine ac- 
cumulative effect to the Sunday-school sessions. 

Are the conditions prevailing in your Sunday 
school conducive to a successful session? 

3. The Character of the Program. In Chapter III 
reasons were given for the departmental grouping 
of the pupils in the Sunday school. These reasons 
make it desirable that the Sunday-school session 
shall be held by departments. The earlier practice 



of having the entire school assemble together for 
worship and separate into small groups for instruc- 
tion has given place to the conviction that the prin- 
ciple of grading must be applied not only to instruc- 
tion but to all the phases of Sunday-school effort. 
It is only by the departmental session that the needs 
of the several groups can be satisfactorily met. 
While, therefore, on special occasions the Sunday 
school may meet as a whole and so cultivate the 
enthusiasm and spirit of the larger group, as a usual 
thing, where it is at all practicable, the Sunday 
school should assemble by departments and each de- 
partment have its own program. 

In keeping with the purpose and work of the school 
the program will be made up very largely of wor- 
ship, instruction, and expressional activities. Since, 
however, we are dealing with an institution with 
varied interest, poorly understood and appreciated, 
there must of necessity be some time devoted to 
matters essential to its administration and develop- 
ment, such as announcements, reports, inspirational 
suggestions, and the like. Most of the matters of 
an administrative nature may be handled in the 
workers' council ; but, even so, a few moments of the 
Sunday's session will usually be needed and may be 
used to advantage in giving the members a more 
adequate conception of the work of the school and 
inspiring them with a proper school spirit. All ir- 
relevant and unimportant matters should of course 
be rigidly excluded. 

In arranging the program the amount of time al- 
lotted to each of the several elements — worship, in- 
struction, expressional activities, informational and 



inspirational items relating to the school or depart- 
ment — will vary according to the particular depart- 
ment, the occasion, the special purpose in mind, and 
so on. Likewise, the order in which the several ele- 
ments of the program are arranged will vary. A 
stereotyped form of service is not desirable. Variety 
and freshness will add greatly to the value of the 
program. Perhaps a good general order would be: 
first, a few minutes for informational and inspira- 
tional items relating to the department or school; 
second, a brief period for worship; third, a period 
for class instruction; and finally, a period for ex- 
pressional activities. Or it may be better to begin 
the program with worship and let the items of in- 
terest regarding the department come at the close. 
Grouping such items as pertain to the life and work 
of the organization at the beginning of the program 
will be open to the objection that many of the pupils 
will not be present, but it will perhaps stimulate 
punctuality and at the same time save the worship 
from unnecessary and fatal interruptions. The par- 
ticular order is not the matter of greatest moment 
— this will be determined, as already suggested, by 
circumstances. It is, however, extremely important 
that the session should be unified and progressive 
throughout. The several items of the program should 
therefore be carefully grouped and not thrown to- 
gether in a haphazard way. 

If the size of the school, the character of the 
building, or any other factor makes it impossible 
for all of the departments to assemble separately, 
some combination of departments will be necessary. 
It is of the greatest importance for the beginners 



to meet by themselves and even in the very small 
schools this is usually possible if its importance is 
fully appreciated. Whatever departments compose 
the assembly the program will need to be worked out 
on the same general principles. The following 
grouping of the several items is one way of gaining 
unity and progress in the program. It is simply 
illustrative : 

A. The Assembly Period. 

1. A few moments devoted to the interest of the school 

(five to ten minutes) : 

(a) Signal for quiet. This may be the closing of a 
brief musical selection, or a chord struck on the 

(&) School standing together and repeating in con- 
cert some sentiment designed to inspire enthusi- 
asm, fix standards of work, or develop school 
spirit. Examples: "Every member present on 
time every Sunday." "The soul of culture is the 
culture of the soul." "It is better to form than 
to reform." Instead of the school as a whole 
there may be a call for the officers and teachers 
or for some class to stand and repeat the school 
motto or other helpful sentiment. 

(c) Singing a verse or two of some hymn, school 
standing. This is mainly for its inspirational 

(d) Brief remarks by the superintendent, reports, or 
some other features tending to build up the 
ideals and spirit of the school. This should be 
varied from Sunday to Sunday and always in- 

(e) Announcements so far as necessary. Let these 
be brief and pointed. 

(/) Transition to worship. This may be, for ex- 
ample, the repetition by the school in concert of 


some call to worship, such as "0 come, let us 
worship before the Lord our Maker," or a brief, 
quiet, devotional interlude on the piano, or some- 
thing else of the same type. 
2. Worship (twenty minutes). For discussion and pro- 
gram see Chapter V. 

B. The Class Period. 

1. Instruction (thirty to forty minutes). See Chapters 

IV and VII. 

2. Expressional activities (fifteen to twenty minutes). 

See Chapters IV, VI, and VII. 

C. Recess (five to ten minutes). With proper facilities in 
buildings and grounds and with wise supervision this 
period may perhaps be made to have real educational 
value as well as encourage attendance upon the church 

Could any of the suggestions in this paragraph be 
used to advantage in your school? 

4. Conducting the Program. The importance of 
good order during the session cannot be too strongly 
insisted upon. Charged as the Sunday school is 
with the development of religious life, the very order 
and atmosphere of its session should be such as to 
inspire high ideals and form correct habits of con- 
duct. Instead of developing Christian character 
there is danger that it will encourage the thought 
that the religious life is a thing of low ideals and 
easy habits. This must not be. The Sunday school 
must not, by tolerating disorder, become a training 
school for indifference and irreverence. If the public 
school requires and seeks to foster regularity, punc- 
tuality, fidelity, responsibility, respect, reverence, 
and such fundamental habits of character, surely the 
Sunday school cannot do less. But if it is to measure 



up to its high calling as a school of Christian char- 
acter it must insistently demand and industriously 
encourage good order. 

The suggestions already made will go far toward 
solving the problem of good order; proper attention 
to the physical surroundings, the cultivation of a 
high ideal, the development of a hearty school spirit, 
the careful preparation of the program, are all in- 
dispensable conditions. But in addition to these 
much depends also on the way the program is carried 

Suggestions as to conducting the program. — (1) 
Begin on time. A proper program should hold up 
the ideal of punctuality ; the program properly con- 
ducted should fix the habit. (2) Let the program 
move on a fixed schedule. Do not loaf or drift. 
(3) Eliminate as far as possible the passing to and 
fro of pupils, teachers, and officers during the pro- 
gram. The right kind of preparation will make 
most of this unnecessary. (4) Let the signals used 
be simple and dignified ; have them well understood ; 
require a hearty and concerted response. (5) in 
passing back and forth from assembly to class let 
the school move in a dignified, orderly way. Do not 
struggle from one thing to another. (6) Reduce all 
details, such as securing and making reports, caring 
for visitors, etc., to system and do not let such items 
intrude unnecessarily into the program. (7) In- 
dividual violations of good order on the part of 
pupils, officers, or teachers should be corrected, 
ordinarily by personal, private word. 

Is your department or school conducted in such 
a way as to minister to character building? 



5. Special Days in the Sunday School. Certain days 
in the Sunday-school calendar will call for special 
preparation and a special program. The following 
are some of the more important: (1) Bally Day. 
Usually held in September, it is the time for re- 
cruiting old and new members and making ready for 
the work of the new school year. It should be held 
before the first Sunday in October, when the school 
year begins in the graded work. (2) Thanksgiving 
— observed on the Sunday preceding or following 
Thanksgiving Day and made the occasion for special 
expressions of gratitude to God. (3) Christmas. 
This provides the best opportunity for developing 
the spirit of love. The service should be such as will 
teach the school that it is more blessed to give than 
to receive, and also that the gift without the giver 
is unchristian. (4) Decision Day. Theoretically 
every pupil should have his own Decision Day and 
not be expected to conform to the calendar. Prac- 
tically, however, it has been found helpful to set 
apart a special day each year, usually on Palm 
Sunday, at which time the pupils are given an 
opportunity to make a decision for Christ. The day 
should be made significant not only to those who 
have not definitely accepted Christ but to those who 
have already begun the Christian life. This may 
be done by making it the occasion for a new be- 
ginning in the Christian life or a consecration to 
definite Christian service, such as the ministry or 
mission work. The day should be carefully pre- 
pared for by prayer and teaching and personal in- 
terviews. (5) Easter, another high day in the 
calendar, should be observed as a day of new life. 



Following Decision Day, it is a fitting time for the 
pupils who have decided for Christ to unite with the 
church. (6) Children's Day — ordinarily observed in 
May or June; one of the most popular and interest- 
ing of the special days. (7) Promotion Day — ob- 
served usually the last Sunday in September. This 
is one of the most important occasions of the Sun- 
day-school calendar and should be made much of. 
As the name indicates, it is the time for the proper 
promotion exercises in transferring pupils from one 
grade or department to another. It should be so 
conducted as to magnify the importance of progress 
in religious knowledge and character. Particular 
emphasis should be given to the graduation of those 
who complete the full graded course of a depart- 

The observance of special days may be of great 
value. It offers a fitting opportunity to bring the 
whole school together and develop a hearty school 
spirit. It gives appropriate place to certain impor- 
tant phases of the Sunday-school work. It empha- 
sizes and interprets some of the most significant of 
the Christian high days. But care and discretion 
must be exercised; otherwise the educational work 
of the school may be hindered. Special days should 
not be too frequent, should be carefully selected and 
judiciously distributed at reasonable intervals, thus 
forming a consistent and purposeful schedule for 
the year. Special occasions must be thought of as 
something not apart from but a part of the regular 
work of the school. They must therefore be observed 
at such times and in such ways as will promote the 
school's great purpose. 



What is the purpose and effect of the special days 
observed in your school ? 

Constructive Work 

In the light of the foregoing discussion let members of 
the school visit various departmental sessions and report 
on what features seem to meet the needs of the pupils and 
what features seem to fail in this. 


"Organization and Administration of the Church School," 
Athearn, Chapters VI, VIII. 

"The Modern Sunday School and Its Present-Day Task," 
Cope, Chapter XV. 



Make a list of all the officers of your school and the 
duties of each. To whom is each responsible? 

Find out what records of pupils your school keeps and 
what use is made of them, 

1. What Supervision Is. The old adage "Two heads 
are better than one" is true in Sunday-school work. 
It is a cooperative enterprise in which all must work 
together. Each worker has his own responsibility, 
which he, and he alone, can discharge, yet each is 
also responsible for helping the others. Supervision 
is necessary that all parts of the work may be 
closely correlated, that nothing may be left undone 
that should be done, and that the policies decided on 
by the school may be successfully carried out. 
Supervision is nothing else than wise helpfulness. 
The work of a supervisor is (1) to know just what 
results are sought in each part of the school for 
which he is responsible and how they can be secured, 
and (2) to help each worker to accomplish his part 
in getting those results. A supervisor must thus 
be constantly studying the principles and processes 
of religious education and the special methods which 
apply to his field of work. He will also be steadily 
observing his own school, testing it, planning for it, 
and helping those working with him to see their 
problems more clearly and to solve them success- 
fully. All the supervisors must also possess a com- 



mon understanding of the program of the school, 
that each may relate his work properly to that of 
the others. 

2. Supervising the Educational Process. We have 
seen the way in which the pupils are grouped in 
grades and the threefold process of their religious 
education. To insure success in carrying out the 
program of instruction, worship, and conduct ade- 
quate supervision must be provided. 

(a) The supervision of grading. — In order that 
new pupils may be properly graded, some officer of 
the school should be selected to whom every new 
pupil should be sent for assignment to the right 
class. This officer will see that the enrollment record 
is made out correctly and should assign the pupil 
according to the principles laid down in Chapter 
III. He should also be responsible for regrading any 
pupils already enrolled who may need it. His special 
field of investigation will naturally be child study. 
For this reason he will be constantly observing the 
membership of the school, tracing the progress of 
individual pupils, supervising the process of pro- 
motion, and advising the teachers about abnormal 
or difficult pupils. He may also give special atten- 
tion to the church membership of pupils and to the 
problems set by those who drop out of the school. 
The officer selected for the work may be the super- 
intendent, the secretary, or a department principal. 
In a large school a separate officer should be pro- 
vided who may be known as "supervisor of grading," 
"enrollment secretary," or "secretary of classifica- 

(6) Supervising instruction.— The success of the 


teaching process in the school should be constantly 
watched and tested. The adaptation of the cur- 
riculum to the pupils and the improvement of teach- 
ing methods should be frequently considered, and 
changes made in the interests of better results. This 
supervision may be done by conferences with the 
teachers or with a single teacher upon the difficulties 
of the work. Periodically each class may be visited 
by a supervisor who, while in the class, simply ob- 
serves, later conferring with the teacher. Such 
visits will be welcomed if notice is given beforehand 
and if the supervisor is really helpful, commending 
work well done and tactfully showing ways of im- 
provement. It will be worth while from time to time 
to give teachers an opportunity to observe good 
teaching in some other church or day school and com- 
pare notes on it. The work of a department princi- 
pal is largely that of supervising teaching, and the 
departmental teachers' meeting should be devoted to 
discussions of the work. In addition to supervision 
by departmental principals there should also be 
supervision of the instructional work of the school 
as a whole. This may be done by the superintend- 
ent, by a committee of the teachers, or preferably by 
a separate officer appointed to it and known as 
"supervisor of instruction." Such an officer will 
specialize in understanding the materials and 
methods of instruction and in becoming an expert 
observer of teaching. With the supervision of in- 
struction should also go the supervision of the 
teacher-training program of the school, involving on 
the one hand the thorough training of those already 
teaching, and on the other the training of young 



people for special usefulness in the Sunday school 
and church. No part of the work of a supervisor of 
instruction is more important than this. 

(c) The supervision of worship. — The whole pro- 
gram of worship and of instruction in worship for 
the school should be carefully supervised. If the 
general or departmental superintendent conducts 
the services, a committee of the teachers may co- 
operate with him in supervising it, for he will need 
to have the results of his program and methods tested 
and discussed by the teachers. In a large school, 
with separate services by departments, the superin- 
tendent or a special officer known as "supervisor of 
worship" should be detailed to oversee the entire pro- 
gram of training in worship. The qualifications of 
such a leader have been indicated in Chapter V. 
He should cooperate with the supervisor of instruc- 
tion in providing for training of leaders of worship 
wherever necessary. 

(d) The supervision of recreation and service. — It 
has been seen that with many classes in the school 
seeking to render community and missionary service 
and needing opportunities for recreation the corre- 
lation of these activities is important. In a small 
school this may be worked out by the teachers all 
together, and its execution supervised by the super- 
intendent. In a larger school a committee of teachers 
and the superintendent or a special officer called 
"supervisor of recreation and service" may handle 
the work. 1 Supervision should be exercised in such 
a way as to encourage and develop, never to dis- 

1 Such an officer may well be identical with the chairman of the Sunday- 
school missionary society provided in the Discipline of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church and of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 



courage, pupil initiative. The latter should see that 
the educational aim of the activity is distinctly 

Who is responsible in your school for these parts 
of supervision? 

3. Departmental Officers. Whether special officers 
for each of the last three posts of supervision are 
provided or not, each department having specific 
problems of its own will need to have its own super- 

In the Beginners' Department a superintendent, a 
secretary, and a pianist will be needed. The super- 
intendent, unless the department is unusually large, 
will be a teacher. Frequently such a teacher-super- 
intendent, with assistant workers, will be found to 
constitute a sufficient organization, the workers being 
in training for teaching responsibilities. 

In the Primary and Junior Departments a super- 
intendent, secretary, and pianist will usually be 
sufficient in addition to the teaching force. In the 
Intermediate, Senior, and Young People's Depart- 
ments the superintendent is less of an executive 
officer and is primarily the counselor of the student 
officers elected by the department. Nevertheless, he 
is also responsible for supervision of the teaching 
force and the coordination of the department with 
the rest of the school. The secretary and treasurer 
of the department are provided for by the student 
officers and form the connecting link between the 
class treasurer and the school secretary and treas- 

In every department the superintendent will study 
pupil nature, the curriculum, and teaching method 



as they apply to pupils of that department. In the 
Beginners', Primary, and Junior Departments the 
superintendent is also usually the leader of worship. 
In such cases he or she should have the qualifications 
for this work, and the principles of training in wor- 
ship must be observed. 

In all departments the superintendents should 
have direct supervision over the detailed work of 
the department and be held responsible for it. 
Where changes are proposed which affect only the 
work of the department they may be determined upon 
by the superintendent and the teachers of the de- 
partment. If, however, they affect the general work 
of the school they should be referred to the general 
superintendent or through him to the Sunday-school 
board or workers' council. The department super- 
intendents may make nominations of teachers, but 
the final appointment should be left to the board. 
Departmental superintendents will be especially 
alert to provide opportunities for specialized train- 
ing of their teachers and workers and should make 
suggestions for such when needed to the supervisor 
of instruction. 

4. Records and Reports: the Secretary. Success in 
the work of the Sunday school and in efforts to im- 
prove it can result only from a knowledge of the 
actual conditions of the school. Plans must be 
based upon facts, and their results tested by other 
facts. For this reason records and reports are of 
great value in the Sunday school and when carefully 
kept and skillfully used they much increase its 
efficiency. In the main four types of records are 
needed : 



(a) Records of actions of the board and of policies 
of the school. — These usually appear in the minutes 
of meetings. The secretary should promptly inform 
teachers who are not present of actions that affect 
their work. A record of policies is important. Fre- 
quently officers and teachers agree to try some ex- 
periment or to make some change, and through 
neglect it is forgotten or untested, and the school 
suffers. A record of policies serves as the memory 
of the school. It does more : The necessity of record- 
ing a policy puts a requirement of definiteness upon 
its formation. It should be put in concrete terms, 
and the officers responsible for carrying it out should 
be named in the record. The superintendent and the 
secretary should be regularly checking up the list 
of policies or the worked-out program of the school 
to see that they are being carried out. 

(b) Records of individual pupils. — The successful 
school, especially if it is large, must have a method 
of keeping track of individual pupils. Each pupil 
as he enters the school should be registered on a 
card or a loose-leaf sheet upon which will be written 
these items: name, address, names and address 
of parents (or guardian), church membership of 
parents and pupil (separately), date of birth, date 
of baptism, date of entering Sunday school, date of 
public profession of Christ, date of church member- 
ship, years of attendance elsewhere. As the pupil 
is promoted in the school, record of dates and grades 
will be made on the card, and a statement indicating 
attendance and proficiency for the year added. If 
he leaves the school, the date and the cause and the 
school to which he goes will be noted. It will thus 



be possible for each new teacher to learn easily many 
of the items he needs to know about the individual 
pupil. These records will be filed by classes, and 
every change in the membership of classes will be 
followed by an appropriate change in the records and 
filing. A separate card list giving name, address, 
and present grade of each pupil in alphabetical order 
will be kept as a convenient index to the main list. 
These records form part of the basis of further 
records for the whole school. 

(c) Class records. — For each class a card should 
be provided upon which the names of the pupils are 
listed, with spaces for marking attendance and 
promptness of each pupil each Sunday. This should 
be marked by the teacher or the class secretary and 
placed with the offering (if made during the class 
period) where the general secretary can get it with- 
out disturbing the class. If the class is organized, 
the treasurer should keep an account of receipts and 
expenditures. The only other class record needed is 
of the activity of the class in recreation and service. 
This may be kept by the teacher or in an organized 
class as a part of the minutes of the class or of the 
"class notebook." Such a record serves the teacher 
in guiding the activities of the class for another 

(d) General records for testing the condition of 
the school. — On or after each Sunday, on the basis 
of the registration file (or the previous Sunday's 
record) and the class attendance cards, the secre- 
tary will fill out a report showing enrollment for 
the previous Sunday, number of new pupils admitted 
and number dismissed, actual enrollment for the 



day, attendance by classes and departments, tardi- 
ness by classes and departments, number of officers 
and teachers enrolled and present, condition of the 
weather, and special events. From these records can 
easily be determined where in the school absence and 
tardiness are most prevalent. Thus is discovered a 
place where improvement should be made. Let us 
suppose that the school decides to attain a better 
attendance of pupils already enrolled. The secre- 
tary will first, on the basis of the records for the 
previous year, determine the percentage of attend- 
ance to enrollment for that year for the whole school 
and for the departments (average attendance for 
the year divided by the average enrollment) . Classes 
or departments with a low percentage show need 
of special attention. With this information the 
school decides upon a program for remedying the 
condition. This may involve the following items: 
making sure that the instruction is fresh and in- 
teresting to the pupils, enlisting the cooperation of 
parents, and following up every absence to determine 
its cause and regain the pupil. A record of the 
cause of every absence should be kept, from which 
the chief causes which are keeping pupils away can 
be determined. Special attention should be given 
to their removal. This following up of absentees 
should be a regular part of the work of the school. 
It may be done through the teachers and classes, but 
should be supervised by the secretary, who will in- 
sist on every reasonable effort to make it complete. 2 

2 "Campaigns" and competitions for increasing attendance are usually unwise 
as the regular work of the school is usually disturbed, and the ambition of 
"beating the other class" obscures worthier motives and sets forward an 
artificial incentive for attendance. Such campaigns are usually followed by 
a relapse. It is better to "make haste slowly. 



By watching his records and computing the per- 
centages from time to time the secretary can see 
just what the effect of these measures is and so guide 
further action. At the end of the year the final 
figures can be compared with those of the previous 
year, and the total progress of the school in this 
respect indicated. A similar method may be pursued 
in the case of tardiness. Records should also be 
made of every withdrawal, and a statement periodi- 
cally prepared showing distribution of the with- 
drawals by grade and by cause. The school will 
then know in what part it is failing to hold its 
pupils and why. Another matter in which the school 
should be tested is the church membership of its 
pupils. From the records on the registration cards 
a statement of the distribution of church member- 
ship in the school by grades should be compiled at 
regular intervals. If the number of church mem- 
bers steadily increases from grade to grade through 
the Intermediate, Senior, and Young People's De- 
partments to the point where all the pupils in a 
grade are church members, the school is succeeding 
in this part of its work. 

In addition to these records a large school should 
keep for handy reference a file of teacher's registra- 
tion cards, on which are shown the name, address, 
telephone number, general education, special train- 
ing in religious education, and teaching positions. 
A similar list of prospective teachers should be kept, 
from which vacancies may be filled. Annual re- 
ports made in writing by each teacher and officer 
in the school are often helpful. In the case of the 
teacher this should include a record of the work 



of the class and its activities, comments on the de- 
velopment of the individual pupils, and suggestions 
for improvement. A new teacher who takes this 
class as it is promoted can then know better how 
to guide its growth. 

For keeping such records as these many publishing 
houses have put systems on the market. Frequently 
a school designs its own system and has the cards 
or loose leaves printed. In any case care must be 
taken to see that the system is definitely suited to 
the needs of the school, being adequate without being 
cumbersome, and that it is so arranged as to require 
no more labor than is necessary for the result 

The secretary of the school should be one who finds 
statistical work not unpleasant but fascinating, and 
who will not only keep the records but learn how 
to use them in improving the work of the school. 
It need hardly be said that neatness, accuracy, and 
fidelity are essential qualifications. Where neces- 
sary the secretary should have competent assistants. 

Can your school improve its record system to ad- 
vantage? What is the chief cause of absence in your 
school ? 

5. The Treasurer and the Librarian. The work of 
the treasurer of the school is much like that of the 
treasurer of any other organization. He will receive 
the income of the school and from it pay all expenses 
after proper authorization. He will keep a careful 
account of receipts by classes, showing the amount 
received each Sunday and the total amount from 
each class to date and the totals of each of these 
amounts for the whole school. An itemized account 



of expenditures and of gifts by classes or by the 
whole school to special causes will also be part of 
his record. If separate classes maintain class funds 
and have class treasurers, a record of receipts and 
expenditures from these funds should be given regu- 
larly to the general treasurer. In cooperation with 
a finance committee the treasurer will prepare the 
annual budget of the school's expenses. His accounts 
will be audited annually. 

Where the community does not provide suitable 
library facilities for children and young people, the 
Sunday school may often find it necessary to do so. 
In any case suggestions of worthwhile books to read 
should be constantly circulated about the school. 
Increased interest in the lessons of the different 
grades may be aroused by having available for 
voluntary reading books of stories, tales of mission- 
ary adventure, and biography which effectively sup- 
plement the class work. These, of course, should 
be graded, of the best quality, and free from "preachi- 
ness." State and county library associations often 
have special lists of books for children, and the chil- 
dren's librarians of larger libraries are always ready 
to advise. Many general libraries are prepared to 
lend books to Sunday-school libraries. The librarian 
of a Sunday school thus has an unusual opportunity 
to build up an interest in wholesome reading in the 
pupils of the school. He will also be in charge of 
the teacher's library, which every school should have, 
and will be steadily strengthening it and increasing 
its usefulness. He may also be in charge of order- 
ing and distribution of the school supplies — text- 
books, maps, and periodicals. Whenever necessary 



for his effectiveness he should have an assistant, who 
may thus be in training for a future librarianship. 
A librarian who so desires can become one of the 
most skilled and influential officers of the school. 

How much attention do the superintendents and 
teachers in your Sunday school pay to the reading 
of its pupils? 

6. The Work of the Superintendent. The superin- 
tendent is the officer who is responsible for the con- 
duct of the school as a whole. Through him the 
various departments and aspects of the school are 
unified into a complete organization, in which each 
part contributes its definite share toward accomplish- 
ing the aim of the whole. The successful superin- 
tendent will not only clearly understand the general 
aim of the school; he will know the specific aims 
of each department, of each officer and teacher, by 
which the general aim is to be realized. His work 
will then consist in seeing that the specific aims 
are carried out by each part of the school. It is in 
this helpfulness to every worker that his supervision 
will consist. He is thus primarily an administrator. 
He must know all that goes on in the school, visit 
each department and, where possible, each class, and 
plan and execute the current routine of the school. 
Where any of the duties of supervision described in 
section two fall to him, he must fulfill them success- 

Yet his work is not only that of keeping the school 
running according to its past program. He must be 
constantly leading his workers on to new and better 
ways of work, to higher standards of effectiveness, 
to clearer conceptions of religious education. He 



must be thinking of those outside the school whom 
it has yet to reach and planning the improvement and 
enlargement of its facilities with them in view. He 
must be seeing more and more opportunities in 
which the Sunday school can be effective in promot- 
ing the kingdom of God in the world. 

Such leadership must be marked first of all by the 
highest Christian character. The spirit of the super- 
intendent will be reflected throughout the school. 
He must also be a person of tact, good humor, and 
firmness, whose leadership will be respected because 
of his desire to serve effectively. His ability to 
produce good work from his teachers and officers 
will depend on his ability to do good work himself. 
Needless to say, he will be constantly reading and 
studying the principles and methods of work. 

7. Councils of Workers. Of distinct value in the 
supervisional program of the school are the workers* 
councils, or workers' conferences, as they are often 
called. It is in them that the spirit of teamwork 
is aroused, and full understanding of one another's 
task is made possible. 

These councils may be of several kinds. The de- 
partment superintendents and the general officers 
may form a council for administrative or advisory 
purposes. Here problems of personnel can be dis- 
cussed and considered most satisfactorily. Other 
councils will consist of the workers in a depart- 
ment, in which the detailed plans for the work of the 
department are developed week by week. Special 
conferences can also be called of workers concerned 
in a special problem. 

Conferences of the entire staff should be held at 


least as often as once a month. Routine business 
should be handled rapidly, but every problem deserv- 
ing serious attention should be carefully studied. 
The general superintendent will see to it that the 
program for these meetings is live and helpful and 
really promotes the effectiveness of the school. It 
may concern the immediate work of the school, such 
as methods of worship, instruction, and activity, or 
the broader problems of religious education. For 
all of these useful materials and outlines of programs 
will be found in the Sunday-school periodicals. More- 
over, it is in these meetings that the policies of the 
school, new and old, will be overhauled, modified, 
and approved by the workers before being put into 
execution. The whole school will feel the stimulus 
of the cooperative spirit that should result from 
effective workers' councils. 

Constructive Work 

Revise your list of officers and their duties so as to show 
how every part of the work of your Sunday school may be 
effectively supervised. 

Is your record system increasing the average attendance 
of your school? How does it? State how you would go 
about finding out the church membership of your school. 


Supervision in general: 

"The Modern Sunday School," Cope, Chapter V. 

"Organization and Administration," Athearn, Lessons II, 
The secretary: 

"The Sunday-School Secretary," McEntire. 



"The Sunday School at Work," Faris (editor), Part II. 
The treasurer and the librarian: 

"The Sunday School at Work," Faris (editor), Part III. 

"The Modern Sunday School," Cope, Chapter XIX. 
The superintendent: 

"The Sunday School at Work," Faris (editor), pages 
11-27, 37, 38. 

"Sunday-School Officers Manual," Brown. 




In the light of the purpose and organization of the Sun- 
day school, as shown in Chapters II and III, what kind of 
building and equipment ought the school to have? 

1. The Importance of Physical Equipment. The 
church can well afford to furnish the best facilities 
possible for the work of the school. Here is where 
the future church is being made. The Sunday school 
of to-day is the church of to-rnorrow. If it is im- 
portant to build and beautify a church auditorium 
for the comfort of the grown-ups, surely no less 
thought and money should be devoted to proper 
facilities for the culture of the young. Let first 
things be put first. Beautiful architecture, hand- 
some furniture, costly cushions, expensive chairs for 
the adult congregations, are not half so necessary 
as are suitable surroundings for those who are being 
developed in Christian character and prepared for 
adult responsibilities in the church. 

This fact is further emphasized by the realization 
that the Sunday school in the main is dealing with 
life in the most impressionable age — children and 
young people who are peculiarly sensitive to their 
surroundings. Whether consciously so or not, their 



souls are being impressed, their lives influenced, not 
only by the teacher and teaching material but by 
the physical conditions under which they are taught. 
If a beautiful picture of a ship and shimmering sea 
can turn the heart of a lad to the sailor's life — 
and this is true — too much attention cannot be given 
to the physical equipment of the Sunday school. 

We must bear in mind, too, that the Sunday 
school is not only dealing with impressionable 
material but is charged with the most important and 
difficult task. It needs all the assistance that proper 
environment can give. If the public school is pro- 
vided with well-built, well-furnished, well-kept rooms 
in which to teach the boy and girl mathematics, we 
should certainly not tolerate meaner quarters in 
which to teach religion. A child highly sensitive 
to his surroundings can hardly be impressed with 
the brightness and beauty of the Christian life by 
the damp, unsightly rooms in which too many Sun- 
day schools meet. The physical equipment of the 
school measures the community's valuation of reli- 
gious training ; it interprets to the child the father's 
estimate of religion. 

What valuation does your church place upon 
physical equipment for the Sunday school? 

2. General Character of the Building. The charac- 
ter of the Sunday-school building should be in keep- 
ing with the purpose of the school. It stands as the 
symbol of soul culture; it represents both education 
and religion. In its very architecture, therefore, it 
should appropriately express the educational method 
and the religious aim of the school. 

In common with all buildings devoted to educa- 


tion it should of course be simple and substantial 
in material and construction. The particular style 
of architecture may vary according to local condi- 
tions, but in no case should anything showy or 
superficial be used in the building that is to play 
such a large part in forming the character of the 
young. Everything about it ought to breathe the 
atmosphere of genuineness. It need not be expensive. 
It ought not to be ornate or gaudy. But whether 
it cost little or much, it is not too much to ask that 
it should be characterized by simple beauty. By 
all means let the building be entirely comfortable, 
well lighted and well ventilated. Many a valuable 
lesson has entirely missed its mark because of the 
physical conditions that the faithful teacher could 
not overcome. Great care should be exercised to 
see that it is entirely sanitary and safe from acci- 
dents and fire. Indeed, all the advantages of the 
best modern public-school buildings should find their 
counterpart in the quarters set apart for the Sun- 
day school. 

But the Sunday-school building should stand dis- 
tinctly for religion. It should not only embody the 
best in education but should have about it an em- 
phatic religious note. There are structures that 
advertise on their very face that they are clubs. 
Others say to every passer-by, "This is the place to 
deposit your money." Others are a silent summons 
to worship God. Is it too much to ask that the 
building consecrated above all others to the cul- 
ture of the soul should have stamped upon its very 
image the supreme value of the religious life? But 
the religion reflected in the Sunday-school building 



is not a dreary, somber, monkish piety that has its 
eyes closed to those about us and open only toward 
the skies ; nor is it the empty, noisy, irreverent hustle 
that has in it no sense of God. It is the healthy, 
wholesome life of Christ, and this is the religion to 
be embodied in the Sunday-school house — the father- 
hood of God and the brotherhood of man. This is 
confessedly a difficult task, but surely not impossible. 
With proper thought and care it can and ought to 
be made to witness to our faith in God and lift our 
thoughts and feelings Godward; and by its light 
and beauty and spaciousness it ought and can be 
made to breathe the spirit of brotherliness. It is 
a house of fellowship, human and divine. 

How much attention has been given to make your 
Sunday-school quarters express the thought of reli- 
gious education? 

3. The Arrangement of the Building. In the in- 
terior arrangement of the Sunday-school building 
the threefold function of the school must not be lost 
sight of. It is intended for worship, for instruction, 
and for such expressional activities as are helpful 
in developing Christian character. There should 
therefore be ample provision for worship under sur- 
roundings fitted to inspire a true feeling of rever- 
ence; there must be proper facilities for thorough 
instruction; there must be facilities for expression 
so far as this needs to be carried on in connection 
with the Sunday-school building; and since the 
proper carrying forward of these several phases of 
effort requires more or less administrative work, 
the arrangement of the building must make provision 
also for this. 



The principle of grading must also be fully recog- 
nized in the arrangement of the modern Sunday- 
school building. A few years ago the ideal building 
was thought to be one in which the classes could be 
separated for instruction, and all thrown together 
at will for worship. These so-called principles of 
"separateness" and "togetherness" found expression 
in what is known as the Akron plan of building, 
which consists of an auditorium with classrooms 
on the sides or circumference radiating from the 
superintendent's platform and capable of being 
thrown at will into one room. This plan has been 
found unsatisfactory. The classrooms thus con- 
structed are not well suited to instruction, and the 
assembly room divided up into pigeon holes is not 
conducive to social worship. Then, too, this plan 
does not recognize sufficiently the principle of grad- 
ing, which demands not only graded instruction but 
graded worship and graded activities. The graded 
Sunday school demands a graded building. 

In the application of this principle the completely 
organized Sunday school requires separate depart- 
mental facilities for each of the several departments. 
According to the present organization this necessi- 
tates such an arrangement of the building as to 
provide an assembly room for each of the seven 
departments: Beginners', Primary, Junior, Inter- 
mediate, Senior, Young People's, Adult, each 
room so separated from the other as to make possible 
simultaneous services of worship without disturbing 
each other. This, of course, calls for soundproof 
walls. For the Beginners' Department it is not 
customary to have classrooms. It is important to 



provide in close proximity to the beginners' room 
comfortable quarters for the Cradle-Roll class and 
for mothers. In connection with each of the other 
departmental assembly rooms it is desirable, when 
practicable, to have classrooms enough to accommo- 
date each class in the department. However, if a 
choice must be made between separate assembly 
rooms for the several departments and classrooms, 
it is better to dispense with the classrooms. In- 
deed, by grouping the pupils in small classes around 
suitable tables, classrooms may be dispensed with in 
connection with all except the Young People's and 
Adult Departments. For these higher departments 
classrooms are indispensable to the best work; and 
of course all rooms, and most of all those for the 
smaller children, should be above ground and have 
an abundance of light and air. In connection with 
each department there should be sufficient toilets and 
closets for hats, coats, and umbrellas. Ample pro- 
vision for midweek activities of the school may be 
had by adapting the departmental rooms, particu- 
larly those for the adolescent group, to the needs 
of club life, with the addition, perhaps, of a game 
room, a reading room, a dining room, a kitchen, and 
an outdoor playground. Special rooms will be 
needed for the administrative officers, for the teacher- 
training class, for the library, and the like. 

The cuts on pages 124-129 give the floor plans of 
two proposed Sunday-school buildings. The first, 
prepared by the Architectural Department of the 
Board of Extension of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South (See Plan I), gives greater emphasis 
to classrooms than does the second, prepared by the 


Plan I. Ground Floor 


Plan I. Main Floor 


Plan I. Second Floor 


Plan I. Third Floor 


Plan II 



Plan II 

a U 


Bureau of Architecture of the Board of Sunday 
Schools of the Methodist Episcopal Church (See 
Plan II). These plans are of course only suggestive 
and will call for various modifications to meet local 

What changes in the arrangement of your Sunday- 
school rooms would give your school better facilities 
for its work? 

4. Equipment of the Building. The equipment of 
the Sunday-school building throughout should be in 
keeping with the purpose and organization of the 
school. It should therefore be such as will minister 
most effectively to the development of character 
through the processes of instruction, worship, and 



expressional activities; and should be adapted to 
the stages of maturity of the several departments. 

It is important to give thoughtful attention to 
the decoration of the rooms. The proper finishing 
and coloring of the walls will go far toward creating 
a wholesome atmosphere for the work of the school. 
Restful tones, such as tan and cream, will be found 
much better than the stronger colors. A few choice 
pictures with a deep religious significance and ap- 
propriate to the maturity of the pupils should be 
hung upon the walls of each department. These 
should be hung at a height suitable to the pupils 
occupying the room. In the Beginners' and Primary 
Departments the walls may be made very serviceable 
for teaching purposes and at the same time generally 
attractive by the use of a harmonious, colored bur- 
lap dado hung on a level with the children's eyes. 
Growing plants, flower boxes, hanging baskets, and 
cut flowers may all be made to add to the beauty of 
the surroundings and serve also, particularly in the 
lower departments, as an aid in teaching. 

The furnishings of every department should be 
harmonious with the general color scheme, but this 
is particularly important in the beginners', primary, 
and junior rooms, where the children are more sensi- 
tive to atmospheric influences. Every assembly room 
should if possible have the floor covered with an 
attractive carpet or rug kept clean and sanitary with 
a vacuum cleaner. Adequate furnishings for every 
department include a well-tuned piano, a table and 
chair for the superintendent, suitable accommoda- 
tions for the secretary and other officers, a cabinet 
with ample and appropriate facilities for the teach- 



ing materials used in the departments, and suitable 
chairs for the pupils, arranged so that their backs 
will be to the light. The chairs should of course be 
smaller for the lower departments : in the Beginners' 
Department, from 10 to 12 inches in height; in the 
Primary, 12 to 14 inches; in the Junior, 15 to 17 
inches. In all save the Adult, the Young People's, 
and, perhaps, the Senior Departments it is impor- 
tant to have tables around which the pupils will be 
grouped for class work. If classrooms are available^ 
oblong tables sufficiently large to accommodate eight 
or ten persons will be ideal ; if the classes meet in the 
open, small round tables from 36 to 40 inches in 
diameter are to be recommended. The height of 
the tables will vary from 22 inches up according 
to the department. 

Proper equipment of the school must include also 
an abundant supply of teaching material. Every 
assembly room and classroom should have a first- 
class wall blackboard. With the exception of the 
Beginners' every department should be equipped with 
a set of Biblical and missionary maps and charts, 
securely attached to the wall. An ample supply of 
literature for every grade in the school and a song- 
book of high order, containing the really great 
hymns of the church, for every pupil above the 
Primary Department is indispensable to the best 
work. Added to this there should be special material 
for certain departments: blocks, pictures, curios, 
birthday calendars, and banks for the Beginners' 
and Primary Departments; a sand table, clay for 
modeling, stereographs, etc., for the juniors. 

Since the building devoted to religious education 



must be adapted not only to worship and instruction 
but to expressional activity, there should be pro- 
vided equipment suitable to this end. The character 
of the equipment will depend a good deal on the 
community, and the provision in the community for 
child life. One may mention, however, as desirable 
equipment — unless otherwise sufficiently provided — 
simple pieces, such as clubs, rings, and bars for a 
gymnasium, games of various kinds for the play 
room, dining-room and kitchen furnishings, play- 
ground material for the outdoor playground, and the 

Again, for a completely equipped Sunday school 
there will be needed certain furnishings necessary 
to the general administration of the school. For the 
office a desk, chairs, filing cases, card catalogue, type- 
writer, duplicating machine, telephone, and the 
usual office appliances should be supplied. For all 
the rooms set apart for social purposes there ought 
to be an equipment that will make the rooms most 
effective for their purpose. Good equipment is as 
important in every phase of Sunday-school work as 
it is in a public building. 1 

Is the equipment of your Sunday school in keep- 
ing with the work the school ought to do? 

5. Making the Most of What We Have. We have 
been speaking of the physical equipment which the 
Sunday school ought to have. But suppose condi- 
tions do not justify ideal facilities, what can be 
done to make the most of what we have? 

1 For full details regarding equipment address the Sunday-School Board of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 810 Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee; 
or the Board of Sunday Schools of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 58 East 
Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois. 



At comparatively small expense the one-room 
building can be greatly improved for Sunday-school 
purposes. The addition of two or three plain, inex- 
pensive rooms in the rear or on the side of the 
church, with a rolling partition or a simple door 
between these and the church, will give the essen- 
tials of a departmental building, making provision 
for the smaller children. The auditorium of the 
church, with little cost, can ordinarily be divided 
into reasonably good classrooms without seriously- 
marring the church. One of the most common ways 
of doing this is by the use of curtains so hung on 
wires that they can be pushed out of the way except 
when in use. Perhaps a better plan is to use cur- 
tains made like window shades. These can be at- 
tached to the wall or window facing in a vertical 
position and pulled out along the back of the pew. 
They can be held in place by being attached to a 
small iron rod run through two screw eyes in the 
end of the pew, top and bottom. When the curtains 
are not in use they roll up against the wall and are 
fastened, while the rods are removed from the screw 
eyes and put away. For a few dollars a number of 
classrooms can be thus made in a one-room church 
without in the least spoiling the auditorium for 
preaching services. Another way of providing class- 
rooms, perhaps not so satisfactory, is by the use of 
movable screens, which can be placed wherever de- 

In like manner a little thought and effort will 
accomplish a good deal in the way of equipment 
without the expenditure of much money. Much of 
the most important material, such as maps and pic- 



tures, can be had through the publishing houses for 
an insignificant sum. The teacher or the pupils 
themselves, in the case of the older children, can 
make much valuable material not only for adorning 
the rooms but for teaching purposes, such as sand 
tables, blackboards for the wall, and smaller boards 
for the lap. 

With proper effort cannot the building and equip- 
ment of your school be improved ? 

Constructive Work 

In view of the foregoing discussion write out the changes 
in physical equipment which you think are needed and 
practical for your Sunday school. 


"Organization and Administration of the Church School," 
Athearn, Chapter V. 

"The Modern Sunday School and Its Present-Day Task," 
Cope, Chapter IX. 



Weite down in your notebook the various directions in 
which the Sunday school can extend its usefulness. Con- 
versation with Sunday-school workers on the subject will 
be worth while. 

1. Recruiting the Sunday School. Every Sunday 
school worthy the name wants to grow. It is not 
content to remain the same from year to year. It 
will seek to extend its influence into wider and wider 
circles. It will not of course desire to do this at 
the expense of its own ideals. For the sake of in- 
creasing in numbers it will not turn aside from its 
high calling nor lower its standards of work. The 
Sunday school is not a place of amusement but a 
school of religion, and its first business is to make 
itself thoroughly efficient for the accomplishment of 
its purpose. Indeed, the first and best way of ex- 
tending its influence is to have something worth ex- 
tending. No amount of boosting and recruiting will 
take the place of good teaching and effective manage- 
ment. But along with this, proper effort should be 
made to extend its benefits to the entire constituency 
of the church. 

There are many ways of doing this : (1) The causes 
of leakage should be carefully studied, so that it may 
be known why students drop out; and the weak 



places should be corrected, so as to reduce the leak- 
age to the minimum. (2) A systematic plan of look- 
ing after the absentees should be adopted and con- 
scientiously followed. An annual round-up of all 
old members will not take the place of immediate 
and individual attention to those who are absent. 
In each case the cause of absence should be dis- 
covered, and persistent effort made to overcome it. 
Responsibility for this should be laid upon the 
teacher and the members of the class, but the work 
will need to be directed by an absentee secretary. 
(3) A thorough census of the community, to locate 
all the available material for expansion, is impor- 
tant. The school will do well to keep a card cata- 
logue of all the people in the territory and have a 
system of correcting it from week to week. This 
will make it possible to cultivate the entire con- 
stituency intelligently. (4) With such information 
available, systematic personal work will be most 
effective in building up the school. A gradual, steady 
growth obtained in this way is much better than 
a large increase by means of a spasmodic effort. 
(5) From time to time the work of the school should 
be judiciously set before the church and community 
by means of sermons, special writings, and exhibits 
of work. Thus, an atmosphere can be created that 
will make it easier to win recruits. 

Is your school doing anything to recruit its mem- 
bership ? 

2. The Sunday School and the Babies. The babies 
of the community furnish a splendid opportunity for 
the extension of the Sunday school's influence. No 
period of life is more important than the first three 



years. At this time the child is more open to im- 
pressions than ever afterward. At this time, too, 
the little life is supremely in need of wholesome in- 
fluences and wise guidance, that the foundations of 
character may be laid deep and well. During this 
period the child is entirely under the influence of 
the home, but most homes are much in need of assist- 
ance in caring for and training the babies ; not many 
parents feel themselves competent to fulfill the diffi- 
cult task. This offers the Sunday school its oppor- 
tunity. Through the Cradle Koll it should seek to 
minister to the babies through assistance to the 

There are several important services that the 
Cradle Roll should render the home: (1) It should 
give to parents a true conception of child life and of 
their responsibility for its proper development. Not 
many parents realize the far-reaching significance 
of the first three years in shaping the child's char- 
acter and destiny. (2) The Cradle Roll should seek 
also to help parents to meet their responsibility. A 
keen realization of the problem is necessary but not 
sufficient. In many ways the efficient Cradle-Roll 
worker will bring assistance to the parents. (3) 
Again, the Cradle Roll forms a nexus between the 
child and the church. Its workers should cooperate 
with the pastor in seeing that the little ones are 
baptized, and their relation to the church properly 
recognized. (4) More generally, the Cradle Roll 
should quicken the religious life of the home. Not 
infrequently the interest manifested in the baby on 
the part of Cradle-Roll workers results in creating 
in the parents a new attitude toward the church 



and a new life in Christ. For the successful prosecu- 
tion of this work there is required a superintendent 
or principal who loves children and has an intelligent 
understanding of child life. Assistants may be used 
according to the needs. In carrying out the purposes 
of the department many things may be done. The 
workers will keep an accurate record of all those 
enrolled and have the names attractively displayed 
in the Sunday-school room; they will remember the 
little ones on their birthdays, will visit the homes 
and give to the mothers such suggestions as may be 
desirable, will recommend suitable stories and plays, 
and will distribute any literature that may be help- 
ful to mothers. A special Cradle-Roll day at least 
once a year will greatly stimulate the work and 
furnish a fitting occasion for baptizing the babies 
and for the promotion of those who are old enough 
to enter the Beginners' Department. An occasional 
meeting for mothers whose children are members of 
the Cradle Roll may be made socially and educa- 
tionally helpful. Necessary supplies for the work 
of the department may be had from the denomina- 
tional publishing houses. 

Are the babies receiving proper attention from 
your Sunday school? 

3. The Home Department. The Home Department 
is designed to bring into Sunday-school membership 
all those who for any reason cannot attend the Sun- 
day-school session. It is particularly well suited to 
the aged, the invalid, and the mothers whose duties 
confine them to the home. The aim of the depart- 
ment, as generally defined, is (1) to extend the mem- 
bership and fellowship of the Sunday school; (2) 



to promote Bible study; and (3) to encourage family 
and individual devotion. The latter is a recent en- 
largement of the purpose of the Home Department 
and, though important and desirable, not essential 
to membership. As the department is usually or- 
ganized, its scope may be broadened and made to 
include the promotion of religious education in the 
home. But this carries it over into other depart- 
ments of the fully organized Sunday school. 

As indicated by its name the Home Department 
is a part of the Sunday school, and its members 
should be recognized and encouraged to think of 
themselves as such. The superintendent, under the 
governing body of the school, is responsible for the 
department; but perhaps greater efficiency in its 
work will be obtained by giving the department con- 
siderable autonomy in the management of its own 
affairs. The principle has worked well in the Adult 
Department and no doubt will be equally helpful in 
the Home Department. In this way the officers of 
the department are elected, and the work determined, 
by the department itself, subject to the approval of 
the workers' council or Sunday-school board. 

The officers ordinarily consist of a superintendent 
and visitors. Other officers and any committees de- 
sired may be selected according to the needs. The 
members are divided into groups according to con- 
venience, with a visitor in charge of each group, who 
should visit each member quarterly. As the visitors 
make their calls they should distribute the quarter- 
lies, collect offerings, endeavor to stimulate thor- 
ough study of the lesson, give information about the 
church and the Sunday school, discuss any special 



matters previously agreed upon as the quarter's 
program for the department, enroll new members, 
etc. Special meetings should be held for the mem- 
bers of the department. Socials, lectures, an annual 
sermon, a Home-Department day in the Sunday 
school, and business meetings will increase interest 
in the work. Suitable equipment for the superin- 
tendent and visitors may be had from your church 
publishing houses. 

4. Extension Classes for Special Groups. In many 
communities, particularly the larger towns and 
cities, there are special groups of people who are 
kept away from Sunday school because of their em- 
ployment. Such are the firemen, the policemen, the 
street-car men, the telephone operators, and other 
workers. The Sunday school has an obligation to 
all such groups and should seek to extend its bene- 
fits to them through the organization of special 

In some instances these classes can best be held 
at the regular Sunday-school hour but at a place 
convenient for the men, as, for example, a Sunday- 
morning class for firemen at a station house. In 
other cases it will be necessary to carry on the work 
at another hour, perhaps at some time during the 
week. The time and place are of secondary con- 
sideration ; the important thing is to give to all who 
are shut out from the Sunday school the benefits of 
systematic religious instruction and of Christian 

This work can perhaps be most successfully ac- 
complished through the Adult Department of the 
Sunday school. The materials of instruction pro- 



vided for the adult classes are well suited to such 
groups; so also are their plan of organization and 
their program of work. Then, too, it is mutually 
helpful to the adult classes of the school and to 
these special groups to be brought in close contact 
as two parts of the one Adult Department of the 

5. Training Parents and Other Christian Workers. 
Attention has been called in Chapter VII to the 
training of Sunday-school teachers. The importance 
of this work can scarcely be overemphasized. There 
are, however, several good reasons for not confining 
this phase of Sunday-school effort to the training 
of teachers; it may well be enlarged to include 
parents and various types of workers. To some 
degree this may be done in connection with the 
regular session of the school, by means of special 
adult classes for that purpose. In the main, how- 
ever, it will perhaps be necessary to carry it on as 
extension work during the week. 

Through the work of the Home Department and 
the Cradle Roll class, already discussed, something 
' may be done to assist parents in their difficult task. 
But more definite systematic training is needed than 
is usually given through these agencies, and parents 
not only of the babies but of children in the several 
periods of development are greatly in need of assist- 
ance. Here, then, the school has a fine field for 
service, which it can render through the organiza- 
tion of parents' classes or clubs. The parents can 
be grouped according to the convenience of meeting, 
the period of child life they are particularly in- 
terested in, or the special problem to be studied. 



The work of the Sunday school in training parents 
is still in its infancy, but it will undoubtedly grow 
to large proportions. Every Sunday school should 
have at least one class composed of parents study- 
ing the problems of religious training in the home. 
Books suitable to such study can be had by cor- 
respondence with the Sunday-school headquarters of 
the denomination. 

Larger emphasis must be given also to the effi- 
ciency of the church and to the training of workers 
to this end. Surely this is one of the big oppor- 
tunities of the Sunday school. In charity effort, in 
social service, in mission work, and in all the de- 
partments of the church there is need for well- 
trained workers. Nor is there any agency in the 
church or community so well situated for under- 
taking this service. With patience and persistence 
the Sunday school can do much to supply the church 
with efficient workers for the accomplishment of its 
manifold task. 

Is your Sunday school doing anything to train 
parents and other Christian workers? 

6. Week-Day Instruction in Religion. Perhaps the 
greatest limitation upon the work of the Sunday 
school is the insufficient time at its disposal. With 
only one session a week and less than an hour and 
a half for its work the Sunday school cannot fully 
meet the need for religious education. There is a 
growing appreciation of the importance of the reli- 
gious element in education and a growing conviction 
that this cannot be sufficiently supplied by the one 
Sunday-school period. In view of these facts one 
of the greatest things the school can do, perhaps, 



is to act as a dynamic center for inspiring and pro- 
moting education in religion outside of the Sunday- 
school hour. 

Many types of week-day instruction are being tried 
in various parts of the country with more or less 
success. In some instances classes conducted under 
the auspices of the Sunday school meet during the 
week rather than on Sunday for the convenience of 
the members of the class. Another plan of week-day 
instruction in religion provides for classes on Wed- 
nesday or some other afternoon in the week and 
calls for the release of the children from the public 
school at the option of their parents for the purpose 
of attending the church school. Somewhat similar, 
but much more ambitious, is the plan of religious 
education in operation at Gary, Indiana. Here 
several churches provide week-day instruction in 
which the children of the public school for a certain 
number of hours a week, by request of the parents, 
are allowed to take part. This week-day religious 
instruction, in its relation to the Sunday school, 
varies in the several churches from complete inde- 
pendence to coordination. There can be little doubt 
that the Sunday school should inspire and promote 
all such efforts for more extensive and systematic 
instruction in religion. And in the final solution 
week-day religious instruction and Sunday-school 
work should be closely coordinated. 

Much may also be done, and in some places is al- 
ready being done, for the extension of religious edu- 
cation by the utilization of the summer vacations. 
The school children are in most cases unoccupied, 
and a great service can be rendered them and their 



home by employing a part of their time in the study 
of the Bible and kindred subjects along with other 
useful studies. This is being done through the Daily 
Vacation Bible Schools, which were inaugurated in 
2s'ew York in 1901 by Robert G. Boville and which 
have grown into a national movement incorporated 
as the Daily Vacation Bible School Association, with 
headquarters in New York City. These schools 
frequently are directed and maintained by a Sunday 
school or group of Sunday schools. They furnish a 
splendid opportunity for the Sunday school to do 
extension work that is well worth while. 

Is there anything that your school can do to 
promote systematic week-day instruction in religion? 

7. The Sunday School and Community Service. 
Becognizing that education is much broader than 
formal courses of instruction and training, that the 
immature life is being shaped by all the surround- 
ing influences, the Sunday school cannot afford to 
be indifferent to the social conditions that help or 
hinder the proper development of mural and reli- 
gious character. It will see many ways of extend- 
ing its influence and usefulness in various forms of 
community service. It should seek, first of all. to 
know the conditions that surround the children and 
young peorjle of the Sunday school and community. 
A careful investigation should be made of these. 
What are the playground possibilities and influ- 
ences? What kind of literature is being read, and 
what are the opportunities for wholesome reading? 
What sort of social and club life is offered to young 
people? What is the character of the amusements 
most patronized? A complete answer to such ques- 



tions as these will enable the Sunday school to do 
its work much more effectively. 

In similar manner the school should know the 
influences and agencies that are contributing toward 
the building up of child life. It should form a 
league, offensive and defensive, with every agency or 
movement striving to develop Christian character. 
From the various agencies that deal with child life 
in the community it may receive great help in doing 
its special work and, in return, may render them 
valuable assistance. 

What could your school do to extend its influence 
through community service? 

Constructive Work 

After having studied this chapter write in your notebook 
what you think your school ought to do to recruit its mem- 
bership and to extend the benefits of religious education 
to those who cannot attend the school session. 


"The Modern Sunday School and Its Present-Day Task," 

"The Organization and Administration of the Church 
School," Athearn. 

"The Sunday School at Work," Faris (editor). 



How far do the members of your church take an inter- 
est in the Sunday school? Find out what is done to culti- 
vate that interest. 

What provision does the governing board of your local 
church make for the work of the Sunday school? How are 
the expenses of your school met? 

1. The Responsibility of the Church for the Sunday 
School. Every church that seeks to carry out the 
purposes of Jesus in the promotion of his kingdom 
will be alive to its responsibility for the religious 
■education of all whom it can reach — young or old. 
It will know that only as it does this can it be a 
successful church, and the kingdom's advance be 
made permanent and strong. The Sunday school 
must therefore be regarded by the church not as an 
attachment, a separate institution, but as an essen- 
tial part of its very life. The wise church will see 
that its Sunday school is the best that it can make 

To do this the church must provide the school with 
adequate resources in building, equipment, and 
finance and the best resources of intelligence for its 
direction. Just as the community seeks to secure 
the best conditions for the secular education of its 
children in the public school, so the church must 
do for their religious education. But it must do 
more than equip the school; it must maintain it. 



The expenses of the school should be a regular part 
of the budget of the church, just as much as the 
bills for light, heat, music, and the janitor. The 
Sunday school should not need to calculate upon 
its offerings to meet its bills. It must be left free 
to train the children in intelligent giving, and for 
this it must be free to guide the giving of the school 
into unselfish channels. If it can do this, the church 
treasury of the next generation will be filled more 
easily. Even if the Sunday school raised no money 
whatever, it would still be the duty of the church to 
provide for it generously because of its educational 
service to the kingdom. As a matter of fact, the 
work of the church will be one of the causes to 
which the pupils of the school will give and give 
regularly. And just as much as other members of 
the church they should know how the money they 
give is expended. If it simply disappears into the 
cash box of the school treasurer, the interest of 
the pupil in the gift is checked off. Whether the 
amount the church receives from the Sunday school 
be more or less than its expenditures, the church 
should pay the costs of the school, including enough 
to cover constant improvements. Only so can it 
deal fairly with so important a part of its life. 

Still further to express the relation of the school 
to the church, the latter should give special recog- 
nition to the teachers and officers of the school. Each 
year one of the services of the church, near or at the 
beginning of the school year, should be devoted to 
a consecration or installation service for the teachers 
and officers. In such a service the meaning of reli- 
gious education may properly be the pastor's theme. 



Indeed, only as the church comes to be intelligent 
concerning the work of the school can it be expected 
to support it properly. To accomplish this an 
annual exhibit of the work of the school is most 
valuable. In it should be included for each class 
examples of the pupils' handwork, class notebooks, 
textbooks, a placard listing the Christian service of 
the class, a copy of the class prayer, and other ob- 
jects that the pupils will delight in showing their 
parents and friends. The general work of the school 
can be shown by placards on which are neatly let- 
tered statements of the school budget, of the per- 
centage of attendance and promptness by classes for 
two or more years in succession, the names of pupils 
who have not been absent or late for the year, the 
figures of the school's enrollment by classes and 
departments, typical programs of worship, and il- 
lustrated mottoes on religious education. In addi- 
tion to this the alert pastor and superintendent will 
find many ways of keeping the church interested in 
the work of the school. 

What can you do to arouse a larger interest in 
the school on the part of your church? 

2. The Sunday School and Other Church Organiza- 
tions. When we consider the activities that go on 
in a church we discover that there are other organi- 
zations than the Sunday school which are doing reli- 
gious-educational work with children and youth. 
Almost all of them arose to meet needs which the 
Sunday school had overlooked by giving its sole 
attention to instruction. The young people's so- 
cieties sprang up because the school had failed to 
provide adequately for the social, recreational, and 



devotional activity of the growing youth of the 
church. Others were fostered by the woman's mis- 
sionary organizations for the sake of the missionary 
education of the children. Still others, such as 
boys' clubs, have endeavored to hold the boys of the 
church by the inducements of club life. Each has 
developed its own program of work independently 
both of the Sunday school and of the others. 

All of these have been useful, and most of them 
effective in their own work. But now that the 
broader ideal of religious development and charac- 
ter training has arisen, the confusion and waste 
caused by overlapping and uncorrelated work is be- 
coming more and more strikingly apparent. One 
organization sets one appeal before the child, and 
one another; some children have one aspect of their 
training overdeveloped, another neglected ; others are 
missed altogether. Again, the effort of one worker 
is duplicated by that of another, and some who are 
competent to do a large work are cramped by the 
lack of opportunity. 

If, accordingly, the work of the local church in 
religious education is to be effective and thorough, 
this condition must be corrected. A unified and 
complete program of religious education for the 
whole church should be formed and put into effect. 
Its fundamental principle would not be, How is this 
organization or that to have its chance at the chil- 
dren and young people? but, What training do they 
need and how can it best be given them? In such 
a program some of these organizations would no 
doubt disappear. Others would be correlated with 
departments of the Sunday school. The young peo- 



pie's societies, for example, should be identical in 
membership with the departments of the Sunday 
school to which they correspond. If the department 
is organized with pupil officers, as has been sug- 
gested, 1 these officers will be identical in both depart- 
ment and society. What were formerly two separate 
programs of recreation and service now become one. 
If desired, the name of the organization may be 
retained because of its value as a club title, but the 
actual work should be completely drawn into the 
single form of organization. Young people not in 
the department because of service elsewhere in the 
Sunday school should be included in membership 
for the social and recreational program. If this 
correlation is made, the supervision of mature leader- 
ship which the young people's societies often need 
can be applied. 

To provide such a program and to supervise the 
entire educational work of the church, many churches 
are coming to employ salaried officers known as 
"directors of religious education." For these workers 
the demand is greater than the supply. Such direc- 
tors are men or women who have specialized in reli- 
gious education. In some places they serve two or 
more churches at a time, much as a country or city 
superintendent of schools. It is to the services of 
such competent leadership that the churches must 
look for guidance in rendering their greatest educa- 
tional service to society and to the kingdom. 

What are the chief difficulties you see in the way 
of forming a unified educational program for your 
church? How may they be overcome? 

» Chapter VII. 



3. The Church Committee on Education. Whether 
or not the church is able to enjoy such trained 
educational leadership as the employment of a direc- 
tor of religious education provides, it should in any 
case have as one of the permanent and active com- 
mittees of the governing board a committee on edu- 
cation. Upon the members of this committee will 
rest the final responsibility for the educational work 
of the church. They must know for themselves by 
study and observation the duty of the church to the 
child and they must see that this duty is done. 
Under their control will be all the educational agen- 
cies of the church. Not only must all organizations 
seeking to do educational work receive their ap- 
proval; they must themselves be active in forming 
a comprehensive and thorough program of religious 
education for their church and see that it is carried 
out. They will present to the church the need of 
their program in equipment, finances, and personnel. 
They will educate the church to a high sense of 
responsibility for supporting this program. By them 
all the chief educational officers of the church will 
be appointed and all general policies approved. 

Such a committee should also represent the church 
in community matters in which the welfare of its 
pupils are concerned. They will be alert to the 
dangers and the possibilities of public amusement, 
moving pictures, and playgrounds. They will be in 
constant touch with the general agencies of religious 
education, such as the church boards and the Reli- 
gious Education Association, and will be ready to 
learn from the experience of other churches and 
other communities. 



This committee will be composed of three or five 
of the most capable men and women whom the church 
has, with the pastor and the superintendent of the 
Sunday school ex officio. If one or more of the 
members has definite educational experience, so much 
the better. A place on this committee should be 
a place of honor and responsibility. 2 

By what method does your church govern the work 
of the Sunday school? Do the rules of your church 
provide a definite method for doing this ? 

4. School Life and Church Life. Even when the 
church has provided the school with adequate equip- 
ment, a well-trained staff, and capable supervision, 
it has one more important thing to do for the reli- 
gious education of its children and young people. 
That is to make their life in the school one with 
life in the church. 

As he grows up each pupil must know the church 
as his. Not only does he belong to it, but it belongs 
to him. He must be encouraged to attend the church 
services not simply by exhortation in his class or 
in the school but by the welcome he receives when he 
comes and by the degree to which the services help 
him as well as his elders. The attitude of church 
members — especially if they be his parents — toward 
the church, toward their fellow members, toward 

2 The Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church requires the Quar- 
terly Conference (the governing body) of the local church to have general 
oversight of the Sunday school, confirming or rejecting the superintendents 
elected by the Sunday-school board, and exercising similar authority over 
the Epworth and Junior Leagues and other church organizations. The Sun- 
day-school committee of the Quarterly Conference, with the officers and 
teachers of the school and the pastor as chairman, form the Sunday-school 
board, which is made responsible for the detailed conduct of the school. The 
Quarterly Conference could very properly put upon the Sunday-school com- 
mittee the responsibility of forming^ and putting into effect a unified educa- 
tional program for the church of the kind indicated in section two of this chapter. 
It is necessary, however, that this committee be thoroughly qualified for its 



the pastor, will greatly influence if not determine 
his opinion of the church and its importance. More- 
over, the feeling that there is somehow a chasm 
between church and school, and that the church 
belongs to the "grown-ups," who consequently look 
down on the Sunday school, must not be tolerated 
in the officers of either church or school. To permit 
it is to deprive the child of his rightful heritage in 
the church of God. 

The strongest tie that will bind young people to 
the church is their opportunity to be of service to 
it. For this they do not need to wait until they have 
been graduated from the school. Departments or 
classes can be responsible for beautifying the church 
grounds, providing flowers for the services, helping 
at entertainments, ushering at concerts, carrying 
provisions to the needy, and many other deeds of 
helpfulness. Such activities should be carefully 
fitted into the graded program of service and be 
governed by the same principles as other parts of 
that program. Furthermore, young people who have 
shown themselves effective workers should from time 
to time be added to church committees or made as- 
sistants of church officers to serve as apprentices in 
religious leadership. In such positions the responsi- 
bility placed on the young workers should be real, 
and their ideas and suggestions given as thoughtful 
consideration as those of workers of longer experi- 
ence. It is thus that freshness and vigor are insured 
for the life of the church, and its future leadership 
guaranteed. The promise of rich and effective life 
of the church in the serious days to come lies in the 
sincere welcome it gives to youth to-day. 



How far do the pupils of your school feel at home 
in the church? 

5. The Challenge of the School as a Field for Serv- 
ice. The young people who have been reading and 
studying in this book will be quick to realize that 
the obligation of the church to do its duty by them 
is not one-sided. They also have a duty toward the 
church. It is to respond to the call for service which 
the church — not always in so many words or by 
action of the official board but by its own need and 
its endeavor to minister to men — puts before them. 

Not all will find their field of service in the same 
place. Aptitudes vary, and there are a variety of 
opportunities awaiting alert-minded young people 
who have heard the summons of the Master of life, 
"Go work in my vineyard." Some will find their 
place in the ministry or in the mission field. Most 
will enter the busy world of commerce and manu- 
facture or the quieter but no less busy life of the 
home and the school. Upon the permeation of all 
society with the ideals of Jesus by his loyal followers 
the coming of God's kingdom depends. Such fol- 
lowers of Christ the Sunday school seeks to send 
out into the world. 

Yet some of these followers the school must also 
draw back into itself for service to those who are 
coming after. In the long process of building up 
the kingdom among men continuous education in 
morals and religion is the foundation layer. Every- 
thing rests upon that. No conviction is so firmly 
held by the leaders of the world to-day as the con- 
viction that the righteousness of nations and the 
hope of a desirable civilization depend upon the 



moral character of the people themselves. What 
young man or young woman who has the gifts and 
— what is more — the determination to acquire the 
skill does not desire to help lay that foundation? 
And what more important agency than the Sunday 
school in which to labor in helping to lay that foun- 
dation? The demand for effective teachers and 
officers is far greater than the supply. The general 
raising of the standards of work in Sunday schools 
has made investment in them worthy of any man's 
time and energy. The careful work of the Sunday- 
school boards and publishing houses of the churches 
is making equipment and training of the highest 
quality available to all. 

Surely those who have caught Jesus' vision of 
the greatness of the kingdom and the importance of 
the child in it may well afford to think long and 
seriously before saying "no" to the call to invest 
their mind and heart and will in the work of the 
Sunday school. 

Constructive Work 

On the basis of your studies outline a program in which 
the activities of the other educational organizations of the 
church might be correlated with the Sunday school. 

How would you set about increasing the interest of your 
church in the Sunday school? 

How would you put up to a group of your friends the 
opportunities and challenge to work in the Sunday school? 


"The Church School," Athearn, Chapter II. 

"The Modern Sunday School," Cope, Chapters III, XX. 


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